The grief fell so heavy Tuesday evening at the wake for Israel Hernandez, several mourners rushed outside for release. Familiy friends Daniel Turbay and Ana Penaranda spoke about the loss of Hernandez. Fabio Andrade of the Americas Community Center and Ricardo Tribin of the Colombian Chamber of Commerce are seeking answers about Hernandez's death.
The grief fell so heavy Tuesday evening at the wake for Israel Hernandez, several mourners rushed outside for release.
The 18-year-old's family faced their grief inside the Vista Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Miami Lakes, where they remained throughout the evening. Daniel Turbay, a family friend, said Hernandez's mother is weak from grieving.
"When you take a son away from a mother, I don't think there's a worse pain than that," said Turbay.
"As a mother, I know," said family friend Ana Penaranda. "My heart goes to them. It's a terrible thing that happened to lose a child – basically, he is a child – and I'm here to support them."
Penaranda and other loved ones have been following the headlines surrounding the Colombian-born teen's death last Tuesday. At about 5 o'clock that morning, Miami Beach Police officers found him graffiti tagging an old storefront at 71st Street and Collins Avenue.
When approached, Hernandez ran, and once officers caught up, they say one of them used a Taser on the teen in his chest to subdue for him for arrest. But something went wrong, and he went into medical duress before he died.
Outside his wake, South Florida Colombian community groups reacted.
"As Colombian organizations, we look forward to our elected officials. Where are you," asked Fabio Andrade, of the Americas Community Center.
Miami Beach Police have announced an internal investigation, which will be reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Local Colombian agencies said leaders in their home country are appalled by the case, and hope the findings will quell their concerns.
"The main point is to clarify what really happened, because the life of a young person with a lot of promise in the future is now dead," said Ricardo Tribin of the Colombian Chamber of Commerce.
Israel's burial service will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday at 1 p.m.