IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Pale pink coffin at NIU victim’s funeral

Image: Catalina Garcia
An undated family photo shows Catalina Garcia of Cicero, Ill. Garcia was one of five students shot by a gunman at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb on Thursday.Garcia Family via the Chicago Tribune / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Hundreds are mourning one of the suburban Chicago victims of the Northern Illinois University shootings who is being called "a daughter of Cicero," her hometown.

Pink ribbons, ties, hairbands and roses are plentiful at the funeral of Catalina Garcia, the first of five students to be laid to rest after last week's shooting rampage.

Garcia lay in a pale pink coffin, dressed in a pink ball gown with a tiara in her hair. Her favorite color was pink.

The sophomore was studying to be a teacher. City officials say she represented the dream of many in the heavily Hispanic suburb west of Chicago.

Families at the Spanish mass at Our Lady of the Mount Church say Garcia was wise beyond her 20 years.

University President John Peters says Garcia accomplished much and brought happiness to many.

Garcia was one of five students killed when a gunman opened fire on a packed lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Valentine's Day. The gunman, Steven Phillip Kazmierczak, 27, then killed himself. Sixteen other people were wounded.