KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A childhood friend of one of the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in KCK is remembering a man who he says was a devoted father and put his children first.
Alfredo Calderon, 29, was one of four men killed when two gunmen walked into Tequila KC and starting shooting.
“You don’t realize how much you miss someone until they’re gone,” said Chris Wing, a longtime friend of Calderon.
Chris and Alfredo met just before they became teenagers. Chris said Alfredo was like family, randomly showing up to holiday dinners and spending time with Chris’ relatives.
“Although we weren’t blood brothers, blood probably couldn’t have made us any closer,” he said.
Chris last talked with Alfredo two weeks ago. Alfredo owned a heating and cooling company, and Chris’ air conditioner wasn’t working.
“Did God send him over here?” he recalled thinking. “Did our air conditioning unit break down? Was that God’s way of telling him go see him one last time?”
When Chris learned Alfredo was killed, he thought about his friend’s two children and how their lives would change without their father.
“Nothing came between him and his kids,” he said.
Chris described Alfredo as a family man who also valued education. Alfredo graduated from Bishop Ward High, a private school in KCK.
“He understood that his parents were making an investment into him to be the best person he could be,” Chris said.
Investing in his son and daughter’s schooling was equally important.
“He would do anything in his power to make sure they were put into a position to succeed,” Chris said.
Now that Alfredo is gone, Chris is taking the lead in ensuring his friend’s children continue to receive a private education. He started a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $6,000, as of Wednesday evening.
“Probably the only serious conversation me and him ever had, had to do with his kids and their education in private schools,” Chris recalled. “He was adamant about it.”
While Alfredo may have been serious about education, Chris said it’s his friend’s laugh that he’ll miss most.
“It didn’t matter how bad of a situation it was or how mad you could be, once you heard that laugh you just had to laugh yourself and smile,” he said.
Chris has also setup an account for Alfredo’s children at Security Bank. Be sure to mention “Alfredo Calderon Education Fund” if you'd like to donate.
Visitation services were held for Alfredo Wednesday evening – the first of the four victims. Family and friends of the 29-year-old gathered at Porter Funeral Home in KCK to pay their respects.
Alfredo’s funeral is Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at All Saint’s Church.