‘He is being strong’: 6-year-old who witnessed father’s murder coping with loss

Local News

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – The family of a man killed during a carjacking and crime spree in Aurora is preparing to lay him to rest. 

Carlos Julio Albarracin, 34, was shot during a carjacking on Iowa Street last Wednesday evening. His 6-year-old son witnessed the attack.  

“It has been very hard for him. He starts to cry a lot. He was so close to his dad. They would go everywhere together. He doesn’t sleep well. We try to distract him. We take him to the park, get him ice cream,” Angela Arismendi, Carlos’ wife said. 

“He is being strong for his mother. He’s told the story multiple times about what happened because he was with his father when his father died. So he’s recounted the story to us a number of times. Every night he lights a candle at an alter with a picture of his father. He said ‘my daddy’s in heaven’. And showed me his arm because he was injured too, from the glass breaking I believe,” said family friend Daniel Smafield. 

They moved to the United States from Colombia, settling in Aurora seven months ago. She said Albarracin was a hard worker. “Very responsible, a man who was a dreamer. He would reach the goals he made for himself,” Arismendi said. 

Friends say Carlos was an adventurous and loving man. “Every Sunday they had family day, so they would do as much as they could around the state. They traveled to national parks, Garden of the Gods. The saddest thing to me is the plans they had that won’t be fulfilled. They had planned to go to San Francisco, and spend New Year’s Eve in Aspen,” Smafield said. 

Smafield and his wife started a GoFundMe account for the family, saying they lost one of their providers and will need help coping with the tremendous loss.  

“When we heard about this family, how had just got here from Colombia seven months ago, working trying to start a new life here in America, escaping the problems of Colombia, lack of jobs, violence. They came here and experienced violence here, something they never expected to happen. When we learned about that, my wife and I knew we had to help as much as we could,” Smafield said. 

He knows they will need time and resources to heal. Arismendi said it’s still hard to believe what has happened.  

“He is the one who would guide us, in everything. He was fundamental to our family of three. It’s hard. There’s going to be a lot missing for us. We are going to ask God for strength. I am determined though to continue the plans we had, continuing to help our family in Colombia, where the situation is tough right now,” Arismendi said. 

“We are connected to a few nonprofits, but long term, they are going to need mental health resources for everyone in the family. They told me they are afraid to go outside their house, not specifically from the suspect in the case, but just in general. They don’t want to go outside. They hear somebody walking, they’re afraid,” Smafield said. 

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