Organization replaces stolen saxophone after student gets robbed at gunpoint

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A sophomore at Alta Vista Charter High School was finally getting a chance to learn music, when his instrument was suddenly taken away. Gerardo Lopez was robbed at gunpoint last week while walking home from school, and the saxophone he was learning to play was among the things stolen from him.

But Lopez was surprised at school on Thursday with a new saxophone.

"We have a little surprise for you today... and this is Mr. Meyer, from Meyer Music, and he has something for you," Lopez's band director, Julie Munro, said as she surprised him in class.

"I heard that you are now needing a saxophone, so I brought you a saxophone today so now you can keep playing your saxophone in band," said Meyer, with Meyer Music.

Lopez usually rides the bus home from school, but it gets home late, so he decided to walk last Friday. He said he was halfway home when a man approached him.

"I just thought to myself, I guess I could walk, I already checked on my phone, it would take 52 minutes, and that`s less than the bus," Lopez said. "He said, 'hey yo, let me see that phone.' Then he pulled out the gun and pointed at my chest."

The robber took his saxophone, computer, and phone. Gerardo went across the street to a restaurant to call 911; his mom came to get him.

"I was relieved I was alive, but I was really worried," Lopez said.

Band of Angels -- a partnership between Meyer Music and FOX 4-- collects donated musical instruments and cash to buy instruments and puts them in the hands of children who want to study music.

"So we've collected a couple thousand instruments at this point, and given out over a thousand to kids in schools across 60 school districts in a 100 mile area," says Meyer. "It`s moments like this, today, that just make it so cool and so worth doing."

Meyer said when Munro contacted him about this situation, he knew they could help.

"He`s been wanting to do band for years, now he`s in it, he`s excited to learn, and then it got taken from him," said Munro. "I'm glad to know that there`s people out there that are donating their instruments for people who don`t get to have them or use them."

Lopez expressed gratefulness.

"That`s pretty nice of people who didn't even know me to decide to give me a brand new saxophone," he said.

Lopez says he's going to be extra cautious with his new saxophone, and he says he will no longer walk home from school.

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