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Editor's Note: The location of the fundraiser has been changed to the VFW at 110 Garfield Ave., New London.
The mother of shooting victim Jorge Rosa said Tuesday that she is trying to stay strong and is planning a fundraiser to help pay for her son's funeral.
Rosa, 25, was fatally shot Saturday morning in his apartment at 252 Montauk Ave. in New London. Following his death, Rosa's body was taken to the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The medical examiner ruled that he had died of multiple gunshots and was a homicide victim.
Rosa's mother, Bridget Feliciano, said during a phone interview Tuesday that the body has been released and that she plans to dress her son for burial herself, even though some of her family members think it might be too painful.
She said the services have not been scheduled because the family needs to raise a down payment for the funeral home. The funeral and burial will cost more than $9,000, and she is unable to pay for it because she is on disability, she said.
The family is holding a fundraiser at the VFW in New London tonight to raise money for Rosa's funeral. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at 110 Garfield Ave. Admission is $10. Food will be served and the family will be selling pins with Rosa's picture for $5.
Feliciano said that any extra money will go to Rosa's 6-year-old daughter, Giana.
Two New London men are accused of breaking into Rosa's apartment around 4 a.m. Saturday and shooting him in his bed. One of the accused killers, 20-year-old Evan Holmes, has been arrested. The other, 18-year-old Davion Smith, remains at large.
Rosa's mother said she had never seen Holmes before but that Smith had been to her house.
"The hardest part is, that's my son's friend," she said. "They knew each other, and that boy came to my house a couple of times. That boy seen my son's daughter and seen how close they are."
Nobody knows why her son was killed, she said. Some have suggested the crime was fueled by jealousy because Rosa had been dating Holmes' ex-girlfriend. Feliciano doesn't think so.
"They had already broken up," she said.
Holmes had been released from prison on Nov. 3, just nine days before he and Smith allegedly carried out what a New London judge referred to this week as the "execution" of Rosa.
Holmes had served 18 months in prison for the April 30, 2010, shooting on Green Street of Idris Elahi. Holmes, seeking to avenge a fight that had occurred the previous week, had fired a shot that ricocheted and struck Elahi in the right foot, according to court records and testimony.
The state offered Holmes a plea deal involving the 1½-year sentence and three years probation because Elahi, the victim, was uncooperative with investigators and was eventually charged with the Oct. 29, 2010, murder of Matthew Chew on Huntington Street.
Rosa's mother said she doesn't want the violence to continue and that she doesn't want the men accused of killing her son to receive the death penalty.
"I don't want them dead," she said. "I want them to feel the pain, the pain my granddaughter is feeling, the pain we are feeling."
Rosa was a good father who made sure his daughter never went without anything, Feliciano said.
"I'm not going to say he was a perfect kid," Feliciano said. "He wasn't. He was a good dad, a good son."
In addition to his mother and daughter, Rosa is survived by two brothers and a sister.