‘He was my whole life’: Sister of KCK mass shooting victim in Cuba grateful for help in the metro

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- More than 1,000 miles away, the pain Rosa Oduardo López is feeling is unbearable.

Her brother, Martin Rodriguez-Gonzalez, was one of the four men gunned down inside Tequila KC early Sunday morning.

With the help of an interpreter, the Cuba resident said she's thankful to everyone in the metro trying to help bring him home. 

Her brother was the last to be identified after the deadly mass shooting, and López said she found out on Tuesday -- her birthday.

"Well, just imagine," López said. "I'm in despair. I'm doing very badly. It's such a big deal. He was my whole life. He was the only good thing that I had."

She said Rodriguez-Gonzalez moved to Kansas City nearly 30 years ago as a young man.

"He was really young, and he had a lot of ideas in his head," López said. "He had this idea to leave to help us. He was so young, and now it's 40 years later because we've always been very poor, and he just wanted to give us a better life."

She said she talked to him just hours before the shooting, and he was dreaming of moving home.

"Something that he wanted was to return to his country," López said. "It was Saturday around noon, that was the last time that we spoke, and he was telling me, 'Little sister, I am crazy to get home. I don't want to be here anymore.'"

When friends of the other victims heard about Rodriguez-Gonzalez's family in Cuba, they wanted to help. Toni Maciel set up a Gofundme page to help bring him back to Cuba.

"Please help out the best way you can," Maciel said. "Anything, everything counts. Just anything so we can have him have a proper burial. That's the least we can do for him."

López said she's grateful for Maciel reaching out to help her from so far away.

"Very thankful," López said. "Very thankful to them. I don't have words to express my gratitude to thank them for everything they're doing. It's just so kind."

She said even if her brother is gone, she hopes she can see him one more time.

"I want to have even if it's in death because I can't have him in life," López said "Even if it's just his body next to my mom. I can also have him with her, and I can put flowers on his grave. He dreamed returning to his country and to be with us -- with his family."

If you would like to donate to the fund created to bring Rodriguez-Gonzalez home, you can click here for more information.

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