EAST NEW YORK — He is going home.
Angel Rojas — the hardworking 39-year-old father of two who police believe was shot and killed by a 14-year-old gang member firing at a rival on a city bus Thursday — will be flown to the Dominican Republic Tuesday, fulfilling his final wishes to be buried in his hometown, his family said Monday.
At his wake and memorial service in East New York Monday, Rojas' grieving wife, Maria Lopez, 42, kissed her daughter on the forehead before thanking community members who have raised more than $5,000 for her husband's burial and her children's education.
"Thanks for everyone who has kept me company and who gave me support during this time, so difficult for me," Lopez said at the Ponce Funeral Home on Atlantic Avenue Monday afternoon. "I really need it. I'm so grateful, not so much for me, but for my children."
The family is planning to have his funeral on Wednesday in Rojas' hometown of Ceiba de Moca, his cousin Josie Guerrero said.
Lopez broke down crying while family and friends consoled her during the wake.
"You don't know how I feel. They killed him," she cried out in Spanish. "I don't have any strength. I'm left alone. I think it's all a dream and I'm going to wake up."
Guerrero remembered Rojas as a family man who would do anything to support his kids.
"He really, truly lived for these children," she said.
Kathon Anderson, a suspected member of the Stack Money Goons gang, was charged as an adult with second-degree murder.
Anderson was on the B15 Thursday evening when members of a rival gang entered the bus. One of the men approached Anderson, who allegedly pulled out a .357 Magnum and opened fire, hitting Rojas in the head.
Those who would like to support Rojas' family can make a donation online through Catholic Charities. Donors should indicate they are contributing to the Rojas family, and can specify whether they would like the money to fund the funeral or the children's education.