SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Three empty desks, classwork is still hung on the classroom walls, and two school campuses remain in "disbelief" that three young sisters could be talked about in the past tense. One former teacher put it simply: "When I think of our school, their faces come to mind."
The Gutierrez sisters, Samarah Mora Gutierrez, 9, Samantha Mora Gutierrez, 10, and Samia Mora Gutierrez, were tragically shot dead by their father at an Arden area church on Monday.
Described by their former teacher as sisters with a "desire for knowledge," they got to class early and stayed late to talk to their teachers. Even when they were on distance learning, Zoom sessions would go on longer than planned because the sisters would talk and share.
"We wrapped them in our love in school. We didn't know a lot about what was going on at home," said Jennifer Souza, the sisters' 3rd grade teacher at Bannon Creek Elementary.
The loss is "overwhelming" and Social Emotional teams have been on campus at Bannon Creek Elementary and Leroy Greene Academy, where the sisters went to school.
Souza said the sisters learned English and did extra afterschool tutoring that, she said, was never a chore for them but something they looked forward to, and in turn, made it memorable for their teachers. With them every step of their educational journey: their mother.
Another educator, Daisy Yang, Samantha and Samarah's afterschool teacher, shared a written memory of the girls with CBS13. She wrote:
Samantha and Samarah were total opposites of each other. Samantha was more outspoken whilst Samarah kept to herself. Samarah loved hugs and would always ask me if she could run across the blacktop to hug a teacher. Every time she saw me she always greeted me with a big smile.
During their supper time they would always ask me if I was hungry. Like an older sister would, Samantha would tell Samarah to ask the lunch lady for an extra orange for me to eat. With no hesitation Samarah would do it. I thought the two were so funny and so sweet to be worried about their own teacher. That's just one out of the many times they've shown their kindness.
I didn't know Samia but there's no doubt in my mind that she was kind and sweet like her younger sisters. I still cannot believe this has happened.
I give my condolences to their family and Mr. Kong's family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of the sisters to help with funeral expenses.
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