A message from Daisy’s father written on a sign, “Put the guns Down! Worst pain in my life.”



BY JOE ARCE


Hispanic Heritage month is from September 15 to October 15. Even though there were not any major events, celebrations or fiestas planned around the metro this year due to the COVID-19 virus, some people decided on September 16 to get together on Southwest Boulevard on Kansas City Westside neighborhood with their cars to perform car stunts with their vehicles. Many bystanders came to watch the cars doing what they call donuts and and burning rubber on the pavement. Southwest Blvd., has been known for years of this type of low rider activity. People would stop to watch some of the cars and others would just stop to visit with one another and look around and admired the low rider cars and trucks.


On that same night September 16, Mexican Independence day, a spray of bullets was shot into the crowd killing Daisy Martinez (18) and injuring a second woman also hit by the gunfire, suffering minor injures.


Martinez’s uncle, Jose Becerra, told Shannon O’Brien of Fox 4 News, “She was innocent. That didn’t have to happen to her… I’m fed up really, you know… “I’m tired. It’s becoming normal for people to hear something like that.”


Daisy’s aunt, Franchesca Salas, said, ‘If you have a teenager you feel it. No parent wants that call or your kid not walking in at 1 a.m. So everyone felt this way.”


Area resident Angela Tinoco posted on her Facebook page, ”We could hear this from our house & drove by but I didn’t have the greatest feeling. I hate that this happened in our community. Regardless of who was there it shouldn’t have happened. Someone’s daughter died and that doesn’t sit well with me. My prayers to her family and anyone who loved her as well as those injured.”


Ruperto Aguirre told Hispanic News, “It’s tragic indeed for the family of the young girl who was killed on Southwest Boulevard last evening. Another youth is in the hospital for a senseless firing of a weapon. Those that know the person or persons involved please contact the KCMO Police to help ease the pain for the grieving families. There have been many incidences along the Mexican Clubs on the Boulevard and nothing has ever been done to curb the violence. I ask, “Will it take other innocent young person to die before city officials finally get involved? Wake up KC please help apprehend the shooter.”


Martinez had her whole life ahead of her. She had graduated from East High School in 2019. She had a job and had just bought her first car. The following day family and friends placed flowers, candles and a picture of Daisy near where she was killed on the Blvd.


Kansas City, Missouri police confirmed the arrest and charged Diego Calderon-Guzman with second-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action. Calderon-Guzman was arrested in the Westport area last Friday afternoon at a gas station. Calderon-Guzman is a convicted felon who served prison time for a sex crime against a minor and now is accused of shooting and killing 18-year-old Daisy Martinez the night of September 16, on Southwest Boulevard.


According to a press release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office it stated that witnesses and video surveillance showed a black Silverado truck with a large Mexican flag on the rear bumper was involved in the shooting. Officers chased down the suspect truck and took Calderon-Guzman and the truck’s owner into custody. The prosecutor’s office says police found a rifle in the truck that investigators connected to shell casings found at the crime scene.


Also according to the prosecutor’s office, the owner of the truck said that Calderon-Guzman shot the victim. The suspect, who is a convicted felon, told police that he fired the weapon after gunfire broke out. He said he didn’t see the victim running in front of him when he shot. Prosecutors requested a bond of $500,000.


This past weekend, Alfonso Cervantes another of Daisy Martinez’s uncle and other volunteers set up a car wash to raise funds to cover the funeral expense. Cervantes told Hispanic News, “Just trying to help my brother who lost his daughter Daisy. It is heartbreaking to see him going through this.”


Sarhad stopped by to have his car washed and to leave a donation for the family. Sarhad told Hispanic News, “I feel really bad with the whole situation… put the guns down… everyone knows me from the Eastside, Westside to the Northeast and to Kansas City, Kansas, PUT THE GUNS DOWN.”


Anyone with additional information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS. All tips are anonymous.