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EL PASO- We first told you about it last night. A 25 year-old El Pasoan, brutally murdered in Juarez yesterday. Rasiel Ayala's family is speaking out exclusively to Local 4 News.
Local 4's Matt Rivers spent hours with the family.
Initial shock and disbelief has turned into overwhelming sadness today. Family members told me about a young man who's life was cut short.
She refused to wash the blood off her hands. Rasiel Ayala's grandmother watched her grandson die, held his lifeless body, and brought back the hat he was killed in, spattered with his blood.
Off camera, she told me about his final moments.
They were there for a quick bite. Rasiel, his mother, and his grandmother went to La Choza restaurant for some menudo.
But as they pulled up to the curb, so did at least two gunmen. They shot Rasiel in the back more than twenty times. As he lay dead on the sidewalk, they shot him twice more in the head.
"We think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Alexandria Acosta, Rasiel's aunt.
Rasiel's aunt is torn with grief, not only for her nephew, but for his mother. Although she escaped the scene unharmed, she lives in Juarez, with no family or friends.
Deported years ago, she isn't allowed back across the border, forced to grieve alone.
"At the beginning I felt like it wasn't real and I still feel like it wasn't real, until I saw my mom covered in blood because my mom is the one that saw everything," said Acosta.
Rasiel was studying to become a doctor. Overcoming a cleft lip as a child, relatives say he was determined to help people with the same problem.
My interview with his aunt ended with an impassioned plea, so that others avoid her heartbreak.
"Don't go to Juarez, it's a death wish. Rasiel used to tell me that it was only for people who did bad things...that's not true," Acosta said.
Rasiel's aunt and another relative collected his body in Juarez earlier today. Just before they left, I spoke with them.
They told me they were terrified to cross the border. Funeral arrangements for Ayala have not been finalized.
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