INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Jasmine Albarran was seven-years-old and she wanted to visit her father on June 1, 2006.
“I was supposed to be over there that night,” she said. “My mom told me I couldn’t go. I begged and I begged and still, ‘No.’”
That night Kim Fisher saved her daughter’s life, but she didn’t know why until a friend called the next morning.
“She said, ‘Kim, there’s something going on over on Hamilton Avenue.’”
The address was 560 North Hamilton Avenue and it was the home of her ex-husband Magno Albarran’s family.
Police lights lit up the rain soaked street and inside the house was evidence of the worst mass killing in Indianapolis history. Four adults and three children were gunned to death and it was up to Fisher to tell her daughter that almost everyone she grew up around and loved was gone.
“My mom came into the room and told she had something bad to tell me, that my family was killed,” remembered Jasmine.
“It was hard. She went from this happy go lucky carefree kid to a child I didn’t even know,” said Fisher. “I didn’t leave the house for a year. I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t do anything.”
Magno died. So did his sister Flora and her son Luis and his grandmother Emma Valdez and her two sons David and Alberto Covarrubias and their father Alberto.
Within hours, police knew the names of two men who went into the house with an assault-style rifle and began shooting after a teenager told the killers there would be money in the house.
The neighbor whose animosity for the family fueled the tragedy was not charged. The two men were convicted and sent to prison forever.
At first Jasmine’s world fell apart. The second grader’s doctors prescribed several medications to level out the little girl’s emotions until Kim literally tossed her daughter’s pill bottles out the window of a car.
Fisher told Jasmine they would fight back and heal together.
“If I didn’t get up and go and if I didn’t get up and function and I wasn’t productive, how could I expect her to be that way?” said Fisher. “Giving up is not an option in our house. We don’t give up.”
Together Jasmine and Kim leaned on their faith and found the strength to forgive the killers.
“I don’t live with evil in my heart,” said Jasmine, who is finishing up her junior year in high school. “I can’t hate them.”
Now, when classmates find themselves struggling, school counselors call on Jasmine to help other teens understand their loss.
“I’ve learned that it does get easier over time and that I’m not alone,” she said. “There’s other kids out there and I can take this and use it by helping other children.”
Jasmine said her father and his family would want her to forgive and move on and not become paralyzed by their deaths.
Wednesday at noon Jasmine and Kim will host a luncheon at FOP Lodge #86 to thank the first responders and police officers who reached out to help their family ten years ago on a tragic night on Indianapolis’ east side.