Children of slain Las Vegas couple wash cars to raise money for funeral

At first glance, a fundraiser in the Northeast Valley on Sunday looked like a joyous occasion.

There were colorful posters, cars covered in soap suds and a trio of energetic children helping to dry the vehicles.

But the car wash outside an audio equipment business on East Lake Mead Boulevard was intended to help raise money for the funeral services of a Las Vegas couple killed a week ago when the husband killed his wife before being shot to death by a officer of the Metropolitan Police Department.

The deaths of Delia Luna-Rojo and Miguel Gallarzo, both 46, have left their five children in shock.

Trying to keep her cool as the new head of their family, older sister Karla Gallarzo Rojo said she’d rather not think about how her life tragically changed on July 3.

At least not now.

“You just have to put all your feelings in a little box and you can’t let them out, you know?” The 30-year-old told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, choking back tears. “Because you have to stay strong, and they can wait when you’re ready.”

Metro officers arrived at the couple’s home late that night in the 600 block of North Bruce Street, near Bonanza Street. Four younger children lived with them, two of them minors.

A teary-eyed Metro Deputy Sheriff Lazaro Chavez told reporters Thursday, as he broadcast body-worn camera footage and 911 audio, that Gallarzo had stabbed his wife during an argument.

This was the first time Metro had been called to the home, Chavez added, pleading with victims of domestic violence to seek help.

Before officers entered the couple’s bedroom, police were told the homicide suspect was threatening to take his own life, Chavez said.

Officer Tate Nelson, who was standing by the door, shot Gallarzo with a shotgun when the man grabbed a knife and began walking toward him, disobeying orders to stop, the footage showed.

Luna-Rojo and Gallarzo died at the scene, police said.

“I never thought that my parents would go, you know, leave us, leave me so much responsibility so early,” said Karla Gallarzo Rojo.

After that, family and friends stepped up to help, Gallarzo Rojo said. They have delivered food to homes and helped clean up. The uncles had traveled to Mexico to pick up their grandparents.

Car wash fundraiser

The car wash equipment was borrowed from a friend, and later this week, another friend plans to host a kermes, or food-driven, festival-style fundraiser typical of churches in Latino communities.

Gallarzo Rojo said he doesn’t know what will happen next for the family. Her siblings no longer feel comfortable in the house, which could lead to selling it, she said.

Their mother, the “rock” of the family, worked in a butcher shop.

“She always had our backs, always,” the grieving girl said.

Their father was a longtime construction worker who was helpful and “would fix anything for us,” she added.

As of Sunday afternoon, the couple’s children had raised nearly $6,000 in a GoFundMe campaign, and they were counting on the community to reach a goal of $20,000.

“It’s extremely important,” she said of the donations. “I would say the most important, because without them we can’t do anything.”

Right now, there’s “a lot of pain to process,” she said of her siblings and herself.

“It’s hard,” she said. “One day at a time.”

The Southern Nevada Family Justice Center, a resource center for victims of domestic violence, can be reached at 702-828-7714 or [email protected] The Shade Tree, which provides shelter for women, children and pets, operates a 24/7 crisis hotline at 855-385-0072.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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