Girl slain at Giffords event in Tucson has Valley ties

A Harlingen man watching the Tucson tragedy unfold saw a picture of one of the victims shoot up on his screen.

His heart tore to pieces when he recognized his relative.

As news agencies began identifying victims of the Tucson Safeway shooting, Santiago Lopez Jr. felt a sharp pain in his chest.

The Harlingen man quickly realized that the little girl that had been killed while waiting in line to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is his niece TMs daughter.

Lopez sat in his Harlingen home watching his niece Roxanna Green on television explaining to CBS News, the grief her family was feeling after 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green was fatally shot by suspect Jared Lee Loughner.

The Harlingen told Action 4 News that he had been to that same spot in Tucson many times while visiting the family.

He and Christina's relatives here in the Rio Grande Valley said they feel helpless and wish they could be there for Roxanna and Christina's father and brother.

But Lopez said his wife is not in good health to travel and so all they can do is watch the memorials on television and pray for the little girl who was an angel even before her life was taken.

Lopez says he has tried to call Christina's mom, but only gets her voicemail.

He says his sister, Christina's grandmother, is buried in Tucson and he believes his great niece will be buried near her.

Funeral services for Christina are set for Thursday.