‘Put the guns down’: Daisy Martinez’s family has message for others as alleged killer faces charges

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A convicted felon who served prison time for a sex crime against a minor is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Daisy Martinez the night of September 16 during a Mexican Independence Day celebration on Southwest Boulevard.

A message from the father of Daisy written on a sign — “Put the guns Down! Worst pain in my life!”

“Everybody felt it,” Daisy’s Aunt Franchesca Salas said. “If you have teenagers you feel it. No parent wants that call or your kid not walking in at 1 am. So everyone felt this way.”

Progress has been made in Daisy Martinez’s case Sunday. Diego Calderon-Guzman, 30, has been charged with second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Calderon-Guzman is not allowed to have a weapon due to his status as a felon. In 2014, he pleaded guilty in Wyandotte County to aggravated indecent liberties with a 15-year-old girl.

According to court records, officers went to the area of 27th and Southwest Boulevard last Wednesday night on a reported shooting. Witnesses and video surveillance revealed a black Silverado truck with a large Mexican flag on the center rear bumper was involved in the shooting.

Officers chased the suspected truck, and took the defendant and the truck’s owner into custody. They saw a rifle in the truck that the Kansas City crime lab later connected to shell casings found at the crime scene.

The owner of the truck said Calderon-Guzman shot the victim. Calderon-Guzman told police that he fired the weapon after gunfire broke out. He said he thought he was shooting at people shooting at him, and didn’t see the victim running in front of him when he shot.

Family said Daisy was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was shot and killed during a Mexican Independence Day celebration near 26th St. and Southwest Blvd.

The woman’s family got the news Sunday as they hosted a car wash to help pay for her funeral.

“It’s sad that other people got to lose their loved ones and they’re innocent of what they didn’t do,” Stephanie, who stopped by the car wash, said.

Stephanie doesn’t know the family, but wanted to offer condolences and a donation. She also wanted to pay it forward after this same community helped raise money for her cousin who lost his life to gun violence in Kansas City.

“It’s going to be hard and everything, but just take it easy, one day at a time,” Stephanie said.

Family describes this car wash as beautiful — raising nearly $6,000 and $10,000 more on Go-Fund-Me.

They’re also happy charges have been filed against Daisy’s alleged killer.

“I can’t even fully comprehend it. I don’t even think it’s fully sunk in yet that she is no longer here, ever,” Salas said. “So that’s kind of a hard pill to swallow.”

Salas said it’s surreal watching a group of cousins gather without their friend and family member, Daisy. But she knows Daisy’s memory will live on.

As for Calderon-Guzman, Prosecutors requested a $500,000 bond for Calderon-Guzman, who doesn’t yet have his first court date listed.

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