Local Artist Commemorates Youngest Odessa Shooting Victim

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Juvenile Female, 15, Odessa (Leila Hernandez)

Hernandez, 15, was a sophomore at Odessa High School. She played on the school’s basketball team and had just celebrated her quinceñera in May.

Her 9-year-old brother, Nathan Hernandez, was also shot in the attack. His condition is unknown.

ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – An artist has created a memorial with no need for words.

15-year-old Leilah Hernandez died on August 31st. The teen who was set to return to Odessa High School after Labor Day weekend in 2019 was killed during the tragedy that would eventually claim the lives of six others.

A local artist, who has his own personal connection to the teen, chose to commemorate her life by creating a portrait that features the young woman’s milestones.

In a Facebook post, Cross shares his inspiration,

“This one is very special to me. The girl in this drawing was of a former student of mine from 2 years ago who was killed during the Odessa mass shooting this past August.”

The sketch features what Cross describes as multiple depictions of young Leilah from 7 months, all the way to the final drawing of her at 15 years old.

He says he was able to gift the drawing to Leilah’s parents mid-December and even had the opportunity to share stories and memories of the teen who is no longer here physically but still has a great impact on the lives she continues to touch in her passing.

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