Oakdale 4th grader Devin Aryal killed in random shootings

OAKDALE SHOOTING: Mom held dying son in her arms

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OAKDALE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Missy Aryal was driving up 7th Street in Oakdale, Minn., on her way home from work after picking her son up from day care on Monday night when she heard a sound and then felt blood running down her arm.

While tending to her arm, Aryal looked into her rear view mirror and saw her son -- 9-year-old Devin Aryal -- slumped over in the back seat.

"I saw the wound in his head, so I knew," she said. "He wasn't talking or anything."

She pulled into the Rainbow Foods parking lot and held her dying son in her arms as she cried for help.

"I was just holding his head in my arms until the ambulance came, just crying hysterically and I just kind of held onto him," Aryal said.

Devin, a fourth grader at Oakdale Elementary, had a gunshot wound to the head. All his mother could do was hold him in her arms and hear him take his final breaths.

"I told him 'I love you, hold on,'' and I just kept screaming for more help," Aryal said. "He was a remarkable boy. He loved life, he loved everybody. Everybody loved him."

WHY?

Devin Aryal died at the hands of 34-year-old Nhan Lap Tran -- the man Oakdale police say was shooting randomly at people and cars in the neighborhood around his parents' house.

Tran was arrested a few blocks away and booked into the Washington County Jail for second-degree murder and second-degree assault, but they still don't know what possessed him to fire upon innocent people.

"This senseless shooting has got to stop," Aryal said. "He was just a baby. A little child, gone."

VIGIL TO FOCUS ON CHILD GRIEF

Holy Cross Lutheran Church (6355 10th Street N.) is holding a community vigil at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in response to the violence. The church is located just a half-mile from the scene of the shootings.

The vigil will be open to the entire community, with a special focus for children to express their grief as they mourn the loss of a fourth grade classmate.

"There were a lot of tears and a lot of emotions (at school)," said Oakdale Superintendent Patty Phillips. "This student has been a part of our Oakdale family for many years, so we're feeling the loss very deeply."

Aryal said her son loved math and science, and had dreams of becoming an astronaut. He also enjoyed playing soccer.

A memorial is also going up at the corner of Hadley Avenue and 7th Street, where the shootings took place.

MORE VICTIMS

Reports of the shooting first emerged at about 6 p.m. after bullets struck a woman's SUV and pierced her windshield. The bullets broke through the glass near the intersection of Hadley Avenue and 7th Street.

The driver of the SUV was not injured. Her husband told FOX 9 News she ducked as she saw the gunman aim at her windshield and open fire, adding that she "floored it" to get to safety.

Missy Aryal and the driver of the bullet-pierced SUV were both taken to Regions Hospital and are recovering.

MEMORIAL FUND

Family members tell FOX 9 News an account for Devin Aryal has been set up at U.S. Bank.

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