Name: Adrian Fierro
Died: December 16, 2012
Age at death: 20
Cause of death: Murder (Gunshot)
Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA
Adrian Fierro had graduated high school with high honors. He had distinctive tattoos and liked to ride his bike. A friend noted, "If it was wrong, Adrian stood up and said it was wrong, he didn't just go with the crowd."
Adrian's mother says Adrian's autism led him to make bad choices in companions, and led to his involvement with drugs and possibly with gangs. "He was susceptible to broken people," she says. It was one of those people who killed Adrian with a rifle shot to the head. There had been an argument over narcotics; later that day, Adrian's killer ambushed him as he exited a trailer and shot him.
The killer has been convicted and sentenced to 16 years for murder. Police have some evidence that other people were involved in the killing as well, but they never found enough evidence to arrest anyone else.
Editor's Note: According to his autopsy, Adrian had methamphetamines in his system and was covered in gang tattoos, but that doesn't mean he deserved to die. Autistic people are no more blameless than any other group of people, nor any wiser, and like everyone else, Adrian made some unwise choices. He is on this memorial because his autism made him more vulnerable than most young men in his situation would have been, and because his killer most likely took advantage of his vulnerability. Adrian's tendency to "stand up and say it was wrong" would have made him an convenient target. If he had not been autistic, he might have seen the danger from his supposed friend and survived despite his bad decisions. Instead, his autism tipped the balance and Adrian died.
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