A Dallas muralist paused his most recent project in Florida to help support the victims and families of a mass shooting in North Carolina.
The Hedingham neighborhood of Raleigh, North Carolina, has received an outpouring of support, tributes, and memorials in the wake of the tragic shooting on Thursday.
Austin Thompson, the 15-year-old shooter, reportedly shot and killed five people, including his own 16-year-old brother. Two others were injured.
Those who lost their lives were Gabriel Torres, 29, an off-duty Raleigh police officer who was on his way to work when he was shot; James Roger Thompson, 16, a junior at Knightdale High School; Mary Marshall, 34; Nicole Connors, 52; and Susan Karnatz, 49.
Upon learning of the recent tragedy, Dallas artist Roberto Marquez stopped his work on a project in Floria and traveled to Raleigh to paint a hopeful memorial for the community. The mural depicts five coffins, each symbolizing one of the victims. In addition, he also made crosses for the memorial. He hopes the mural’s colors, symbols, and shapes can offer hope, light, and healing to the suffering community.
Marquez pays his respects for tragedies all over the country in this beautiful fashion and has been painting since 2018.
Earlier month, Marquez had traveled to Fort Meyers to create a memorial honoring all those affected by Hurricane Ian. He built crosses out of wood left over from homes destroyed by Hurricane Ian, one cross for every photo of potential victims posted on the memorial wall
“I feel that I’m not helping too much to anybody… I’m helping me,” Marquez told WFAA. “You know, I feel like when I do it, without asking for anything in return, it’s like I go back home and, and … I feel good.”
Marquez hopes his work will inspire his neighbors in Dallas to help those affected, he told WFAA, whether by creating art, volunteering, or donating.
“You know, and you don’t have to be here. You can do it at any time. There are many ways. And then now we have a community that we are all here for each other, and that really, really helps. It really does,” he said.