Family pushes for gun safety after 17-year-old dies in South Lubbock shooting
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock family is grieving the death of a teenage father, brother, and son after they say he was killed in an accidental shooting this weekend.
Lubbock police say 17-year-old Dylan Montes was shot early Saturday morning near 143rd Street and Avenue W. He was taken to UMC, where he died after several emergency surgeries. Police have not released any details about the shooting, but Montes’ family says the shooting was accidental and that he was with his friends when it happened.
Amethyst Castro got the call early Saturday morning that Montes, her boyfriend, had been shot. She says he was out with his friends when they called to tell her they were playing with a gun, it went off and he was hit. She immediately called his father, Rito Ramirez.
“Kids with guns now, you know, at a very young age. It’s too easy to get a gun now. It’s way too easy. Turn the block and you can find one, you know what I mean? So, that’s a very big problem and that’s what kind of led to this whole culture of kids now thinking it’s cool to have guns and my son fell victim to that,” Ramirez said.
His mother, Simona Vasquez says Montes was a good kid who loved school and loved to help his teachers. He started hanging out with some new friends in the 8th grade.
“They kind of noticed the change in his behavior when all that started coming in. So, it’s just kind of who you choose to hang around with, what lifestyle you’re going to live, basically,” Vasquez said.
Castro met Montes on the first day of middle school, noting that he’s always been a kind and caring boyfriend. When it felt like both of their lives were falling apart, she says they got each other through it. His mother says they came very far in their relationship and were the happiest they had ever been.
“We got really far and we finally got our own apartment and our own car and our two babies and we were just really happy at that time,” Castro said.
Montes leaves behind two children - their son who is almost two years old and their baby girl who was born less than two weeks ago.
Ramirez went to visit his son and his newest grandchild at his new apartment a week before the shooting.
“I just told him how proud I was of him ‘cause at that age I didn’t even have my life together, not even close to it. At 16, he had his own apartment, car, he was working. He was trying to go to school, you know, be better for his kids. That made me so proud to see that,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez wants to warn parents not to be afraid to be strict or go through their kids’ things out of fear they will be angry. He hopes Montes’ story will help keep other families from the same tragedy.
“I want to leave a legacy in his name against gun violence, man, it’s just too easy to get a gun now,” Ramirez said. “Making his life count towards speaking to kids, you know, that are around guns, bad neighborhoods. I think if we could save one life because of his life then we can leave that legacy for him,” he said.
The family is hosting several fundraisers and have set up a GoFundMe to help lay Montes to rest. They will be selling brisket plates for lunch on Tuesday and later in the afternoon will hold a vigil in his honor at 4 p.m. at Strong Park near 79th St & Sherman Ave.
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