Hundreds of mourners packed a funeral Monday for a man allegedly shot to death by his 8-year-old son, while friends and neighbors disputed any suggestion the boy had been abused by his father.
They painted a picture of Vincent Romero as a caring father who seemed to be doing all he could to raise a polite and respectful boy.
“They were always together doing things as a family, fishing, hunting,” Carlos Diaz, a cousin of Romero's current wife, said after the funeral Mass at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.
About 600 people filled the rural Arizona church in this town of about 4,000.
Romero, a 29-year-old employee of a construction company, was shot with a .22-caliber rifle last Wednesday, along with Timothy Romans, a 39-year-old man who rented a room in his house.
Police said Romero's son planned and methodically carried out the killings, and confessed. Authorities would not discuss specifics of the confession. The boy has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of murder.
The boy appeared in handcuffs at a court hearing Monday and sat restlessly next to his mother. Some people in the audience cried as he entered.
Police Chief Roy Melnick said over the weekend that police were looking into whether the boy might have been abused.