Visual arts

Denver subway mass shooting victim shares hope for future

DENVER – As more and more information continues to surface about the gunman who robbed the lives of five people, those closest to the tragedy wonder if anything could have been done to prevent the rampage from unfolding. produce.

“It is starting to make us a little angry as to why this was allowed,” said Al Cardenas, Alicia Cardenas’ brother.

Alicia Cardenas was one of five victims killed in the December 27 shooting.

Denver Police have confirmed the gunman has been investigated twice in the past two years. On Monday, the agency also confirmed that it received a tip in January 2021 from a man overseas who was concerned about the shooter’s online statements.

Alicia Cardenas was also confirmed to be one of two directly named victims in the shooter’s self-published writings.

“If something could have been done, something should have been done,” Al Cardenas said. “That’s what makes me angry. Because the state is taking action to prevent this kind of thing, but they fail.”

Denver Police are currently reviewing their original investigation into the incident.

“My father and I are heartbroken for all these other victims and their families. I contacted a few of them just to let them know that we are thinking of them,” Al Cardenas said.

With less than two weeks to go to the gruesome shooting, Al Cardenas tries to multitask: he asks questions of authorities while focusing on his sister’s legacy to make sure her wishes are granted.

“I am taking care of her daughter. We are starting a trust for her and to take care of her estate,” he said.

Alicia Cardenas was the owner of Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing. His brother said he hopes the store can continue.

“We want to know what she wanted to do with it and do what we can to enable her to move forward… If he has to move, he has to move,” he said. “There are other employees, managers that we have to talk to and decide what they want to do with it. It’s such a great place … it’s such a heartwarming place. It has such a heritage. that I just don’t see him go. ”

Al Cardenas said her sister’s creativity started during her childhood and that she loved to dance and sing. He said his talent for the visual arts was still there too.

As an adult, the art of tattooing became a way for Alicia Cardenas to connect with her native Chicana ancestry. She became a well-known and celebrated tattoo artist in the state, but soon extended her skills to murals and ceremonial dancing. It all went back to its native roots.

“She was basically making her mark in this community. She has a lot of friends, a lot of family in this community,” said the brother.

Al Cardenas said his sister showed immediate talent in her mural work.

“It kind of came out of nowhere where we were, wow, she’s really great at that,” he said.

He remembered his sister’s most important role as a mother, especially with those in need.

“She took on that role of taking care of people, you know, that wasn’t even an issue with her,” Al Cardenas said. “She would do absolutely anything to help someone, especially in marginalized communities.

Al Cardenas, like his sister, is a full-fledged designer, working in automotive restoration.

“These old Corvettes are so … so beautiful, and look at the new Blazer model – it’s damn cool,” he said with a smile. “Seeing these things come to life is really something I love to do.”

Sadly, he can’t bring his sister’s physical presence back to those who desire her most, but he’s vowed to honor her legacy the rest of his life. Like brother, like sister.

“I have always been so proud of her and I always brag about her work … I always bragged about what she did, what she did and who she was,” Al said. Cardenas. “And she was proud of me.”