WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Wichita Falls man is raising money to help his cousin's family say their goodbyes in Mexico after his cousin was shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Javier Juarez and his cousin Jose Luis Cordova grew up together in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Cordova was a dreamer that ambition led him to leave his country and parent's home at 19 with his wife to chase the "American dream."
Juarez said Cordova told him to 'let's go to the U.S., let's go make a better life for ourselves and our family.'
Cordova and his wife settled in Tulsa where they had two children. He worked as a construction worker to support his family and his goals.
Juarez said Cordova hoped to one day return to Mexico as a 'success' and open his own supermarket.
However, Cordova will never be able to fulfill those aspirations. Tulsa Police officers say on November 19 he was shot, killed and robbed out a Tulsa restaurant just before 3:00 a.m.
At a baptism in Oklahoma City a day later, Juarez was shocked to find out what happened. "Bad news my friend, 'your cousin was killed,'" he was told.
"I called his number and he never answered," Juarez said. "I tried to reach out to him on Facebook. I sent him a message and again no response."
Juarez said his cousin "was a hard-worker, quiet person, dedicated to his family, and kids, the ones he left behind."
To honor his cousin's final wish, Juarez put several donation jars at Mexican supermarkets like the Carniceria Los Cuates located on Broad Street across the Wichita Falls ISD Education Center.
"[Cordova] would be happy to lay to rest in his homeland, where he was born and raised, where his blood is," Juarez said.
It has been 13 years since Cordova's parents last saw their child. Juarez said seeing dozens of strangers donate to help reunite the family one last time is heartwarming.
Juarez said the funeral arrangements in Mexico will cost more than $5,000 and he hopes to raise enough money to help his parent's with the expenses.
Tulsa Police are still looking for a suspect they describe as a black male driving a light-colored Infiniti.
If you have any information about the shooting, you can call the Tulsa Crime Stoppers (918) 596-COPS (2677). All callers will remain anonymous and can receive a cash reward if their tip leads to an arrest.