OAKDALE, Minn. (WCCO) – Hundreds packed a local pizza parlor to remember a little boy who lost his life in a senseless act of violence.
With a raffle, door prizes, silent auction and an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, people came out to have a little fun in the name of helping a family that has endured so much. They all wore green to celebrate the life of 9-year-old Devin Aryal. He was killed when a man randomly shooting at vehicles hit him. His mother, Missy Aryal, was also shot but survived.
“He was my everything; my future, my present,” Missy said. “He was my life and now I don’t have that.”
Aryal was driving up 7th Street in Oakdale on Feb. 11. She had just picked her son Devin up from day care when random gunshots hit her in the arm and Devin in the head.
Her son died that day, and according to Missy, a piece of her died as well.
“Physically I’m okay, but not emotionally,” she said.
What has helped are the people she’s known for years, as well as complete strangers, who have been a constant support.
“It’s overwhelming the love and support. And my child was so caring and so giving,” she said. “He had such a huge heart, he would be just ecstatic over this event.”
Devin’s older sister, Savannah Laventure, says she appreciates the support but still has a hard time dealing with the loss of her brother.
“Gets harder for me at least every day because I’m still pretty in shock about it,” Savannah said.
Missy hopes closure comes when the courts decide what will happen to 34-year-old Nhan Lap Tran, the man charged with shooting her and killing her child.
“I don’t want him to be locked up in a hospital or nothing,” Missy said. “I want him to be accountable for what he did.”
Until then, she will count on this gathering of people to keep her strong.
“It just shows the love and the care that people have, you know. It brings me up a little bit,” she said.
Nhan Lap Tran is waiting on another mental evaluation to determine if he knew what he was doing when he fired randomly into cars that winter evening.
The money raised Saturday will help the Aryal family with expenses.
If you would like to help, donations are being accepted to the Devin Aryal Memorial Fund at any US Bank.