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‘It’s just so hard’: Family mourns man callously killed on camera

Visitatifor Delfino Morwho died July 10Th from an attack West Rogers Park alley. Tuesday July 17 2012 | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Visitation for Delfino Mora, who died July 10Th from an attack in a West Rogers Park alley. Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: August 19, 2012 6:26AM

He was the patriarch — the man they owed their life in America to.

Under any circumstances, Delfino Mora’s wake would have been a sad and difficult time for his 12 children, 23 grandchildren and countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

But prosecutor’s allegations that the disabled 62-year-old Mexican immigrant was callously killed on camera in a teenage gangbanger’s sick game made Tuesday’s visitation on the North Side almost unbearable.

“It’s senseless, senseless,” said Mora’s son Jose Mora, 25, as dozens of relatives dressed in black paid their respects at Caribe Funeral Home, 3314 W. Armitage.

“If they’re killing people for a game now, what does the future hold?”

Laid out in a gray open coffin, Delfino Mora still bore the marks of the deadly early morning attack that claimed his life July 10. Stitches were clearly visible across a gash on the right side of his forehead, and half his hair was shaved off where surgeons at St. Francis Hospital had unsuccessfully tried to save him.

Prosecutors allege Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17, and Anthony Malcolm, 18, were playing a game called “Pick ‘em out, knock ‘em out” when they killed Mora while he collected soda cans in the alley of the 6300 block of NorthArtesian. Malcolm used Jones’ cell phone to film Jones as he punched Mora in the jaw, sending him crashing to the ground and the three taped themselves as they laughed at the unconscious man and stole $60 from his wallet, it’s alleged.

The video was later posted on Jones’ Facebook, leading to the three teens’ arrest and first degree murder charges.

At Tuesday’s wake, Mora’s sister Theresa lead mourners in prayer and songs of loss, before Mora’s wife of 40 years, Maria Carmen, collapsed in grief.

The sons and daughters she raised with Mora in West Rogers Park after emigrating from Michoacán, Mexico, in the 1980s, hugged and tried to console her but she was inconsolable and soon her cries of sorrow spread, reducing everyone in the room to tears.

Several relatives were so distraught that they had to be helped back to their feet after kneeling beside the coffin of Mora, a talented guitarist and joker who performed in a Ranchera band called ‘Los Coralillos.’ Musicians played the ranchera music Mora loved beside his as hundreds of mourners packed into the funeral home room.

“I don’t have the words,” Jose Mora said. “He was the head of the family, the first among us to come here.” Some of his family members are seeking medical help for the distress his father’s death has caused them, he added.

“It’s just so hard.”

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