Teens Honoring Fallen Officer With Portrait Painting

Andrew Greenstein
June 11, 2019 - 5:08 pm
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NBC 5

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GRAND PRAIRIE (1080 KRLD) - A pair of Grand Prairie teens are honoring a fallen officer with their artwork.

Throughout the day today, Heavenly Najar, 17, and her sister Faith, 14, have been painting a portrait of fallen Grand Prairie police officer A.J. Castaneda.

“We sectioned off all the colored areas,” says Heavenly Najar, who will be entering her senior year at the Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy in the fall. “And we mixed all the right colors together. And we're basically coloring it like a coloring book.”

Ofc. Castaneda died last Friday after being thrown off the Bush Turnpike as he was conducting radar enforcement.

The girls set up shop outside Grand Prairie Police headquarters, not too far from a growing makeshift memorial for Castaneda.

“Not a lot of people our age have this opportunity to do this big of a project,” says Faith Najar, who’s an incoming freshman at the academy. “And I think it's just very therapeutic for the family.”

The painting was the idea of Lena Rodriguez, the drawing and painting instructor at the academy.

“I just really felt compelled that we needed to do something especially since officer Castaneda did so much with his community and with students,” says Rodriguez.

The sisters plan on presenting the finished painting to Castaneda’s family.

“They are going through quite a tough time,” says Faith Najar. “And so seeing this picture of him, it'll just bring back those happy memories.”

“I hope that we do Officer Castaneda justice with this piece and maybe warm some hearts in the process,” says Rodriguez.