Family, friends and members of the Mountain House community gathered at a vigil on Friday night to remember Paul Delacruz Megia, one of nine victims killed in a mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose on May 26.

Jamie O’Donnell-Reynolds, a family friend, opened the vigil thanking the community for rallying around the family.

“I stand before you a humble member of the Mountain House community and a family friend of the Megia and Soriano families. In a time where people are afraid to shake hands and even hug our community has risen to this occasion,” O’Donnell-Reynolds said. “You have shown your love and to the Megia family, I have been left speechless at the unity and human kindness I have witnessed in the last two days.”

Megia had been a resident of Mountain House since 2008 and was active in the community including coaching a Little League and flag football team.

More than a hundred people gathered at the Town Hall steps to share their loss.

“Sadly, we are here because of a complete, senseless tragedy that has taken our friend, our neighbor, a father, a husband, a son, a brother and an uncle,” O’Donnell-Reynolds said. “We are here to honor Paul Delacruz Megia, or who I call Peter Paul.”

She called for a moment of silence as Mountain House CSD board member Harry Dhillon read the names of all the victims in the shooting, including Timothy Michael Romo of Tracy.

“Nine families’ lives have changed forever. Nine families are hurting tonight,” O’Donnell-Reynolds said.

Members of the Megia family came up to the microphone to share their stories of Paul.

Nicole, Paul’s wife, thanked him for being an inspiration to their children.

“Such an amazing husband, father, son, brother, uncle, colleague has touched all of our lives in a positive way. Just an all-around great man bound to his family. Had a passion for life and was a go-getter and as you all know was an adventure seeker,” Nicole said.

His daughter Avery shared her feeling about her dad.

“I miss him very much and I’m sad he won’t make it to my brother’s graduation and my birthday,” Avery Said. She later read a poem for her father.

Julie Soriano, Paul’s sister, talked about her brother’s life.

“We are gathered here today in the memory of my brother Paul so that together we may acknowledge and share both the joy and the gift that his life was to us and the pain that his passing brings. He is gone but he is not forgotten,” Soriano said.

She talked of his enthusiasm and his love of the outdoors and his family.

“Paul was an amazing dad, son and brother. He had a smile and laugh that would light up the room. I couldn’t ask for a better big brother for me being a bratty little sister,” Soriano said. “We are very saddened from this tragic loss and my heart goes out to the other victim’s families.”

VTA employee Cecilia Crowder fought back tears as she recounted Paul’s efforts to save her by placing her in his office, calling him a hero.

“He opened the door and told me to go in, locked the door and please don’t let anybody in. It was no more than three or four minutes before I heard all the gunshots coming in,” Crowder said. “The shooter came into our office shooting it up. And I’m really sorry. Paul saved my life and I’m very blessed. He was not scared, he was very brave, very brave.”

Andy Su, Mountain House CSD president addressed the family telling them the community stood with them.

“I wish this wasn’t the circumstance that brings us all together. Paul was a coach in my flag football league, he was a great guy. He loved his kids, I can tell the way he interacted with them,” Su said. “And I hope through this tragic event we can come together as a town as a people to love more, hate less. There’s not enough love in the world and we need to come together and stop the violence and craziness.”

The Romo family did not wish to comment on the shooting at this time.

A GoFundme for the Romo family for a memorial and expenses has been set up at

As of press of time, a vigil for all the victims of the VTA shooting was scheduled for Thursday evening in front of Tracy City Hall.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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