Families of Memorial Skate Park shooting victims plead for answers

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Two fathers are mourning their sons who were gunned down at a skate park in Memorial Park in Colorado Springs in November. The Celano families are looking for answers so they can get justice for their boys.

The shooting happened on November 20, killing 23-year-old Gage Celano and 14-year-old Dominic Celano dead and leaving 12-year-old Dylan Celano with severe injuries.

Ray Celano and his family moved to Colorado Springs just a few weeks before the unthinkable happened. Ray is a former police sergeant from Hollister, Calif., and less than a month after retiring, his oldest son, Dominic, was shot and killed protecting his younger brother.

They had gathered for a family BBQ, but the night ended with them visiting their son in the hospital and learning the tragic news of their oldest son, Dominic. Dylan was shot first multiple times, then his brother and cousin became heroes.

“I guess when the bullets started flying, [Dominic] stepped forward and tried to protect his brother and same with Gage. He was a cousin and he also stepped forward and tried to rush to help and they did save Dylan,” Ray said.

“It’s a night we’ll never forget,” Marty Celano, Gage’s father, said.

Marty lost his only child in the incident.

Ray tells FOX21 Dominic was a protective brother with martial arts training who looked out for his friends and family. Both Dylan and Dominic wanted to learn a new skill from their older cousin, Gage.

“They were really enamored by Gage and his personality and how likable he was. So, they wanted to learn how to skate like Gage,” Ray said.

Gage was a semi-pro skateboarder and model. Marty said Gage wouldn’t typically go to the skate park at Memorial.

“He didn’t have a violent bone in his body, he didn’t know these people,” Marty said. “I just want justice to be found – as does my brother.”

The family wants answers for, what they call, a random act of violence. They’re pleading to anyone with information about this crime to talk to police.

“It could happen again, I really don’t want to see anyone go through what my family has gone through. Our kids are supposed to take care of us when we get older–when we pass away–not the other way around,” Ray said. “If we don’t catch these people, it could happen to someone else’s kids. And, in my opinion, it was a specific act of violence at random victims, and my family just happen to be the victims.”

Dylan is recovering at home and likely hasa long road of recovery ahead. Ray said his surviving son will likely need medical attention for the rest of his life.

Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest of the person(s) responsible for the shooting.

Call Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.

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