At the hospital, Abraham learned there had been no accident. Selena had been shot in the back and was listed as dead on arrival, a doctor said, but they'd managed to get her heart started again briefly and had given her a blood transfusion.
Abraham, who'd followed his father into the Jehovah's Witnesses faith some years earlier, immediately reacted to the transfusion. "No! She doesn't want that," he yelled.
Only then did the horrible finality of the doctor's words begin to sink in. Selena was dead.
Selena's family was relieved when they heard that a life-size statue of the late Tejano singer would not be finished by today - what would have been her 25th birthday, sculptor Buddy Tatum said.
Though inactive Jehovah's Witnesses, the Quintanilla family ascribe to the principles of the religion which prohibits birthday fanfare, said Bert Quintanilla, Selena's uncle and marketing director of the family-owned Q Productions.
The festivities that surround famed musicians who've died young, such as Buddy Holly in Lubbock, and Janis Joplin in Port Arthur, usually center on their birthdays, officials from those cities say.
The family would not want attention drawn to Selena on her birthday, said Abraham Quintanilla Jr., Selena's father, who managed her career. "When you have a birthday, all the attention is given to that individual. We believe that the attention should go to the almighty creator," he said...
Jehovah's Witnesses use the Bible as their sole guide to belief. The Bible records two birthday events, both of which are stained in blood. Two of God's servants, John the Baptist and a breadmaker in ancient Israel, were killed on the birthdays of reigning leaders who persecuted them.
The honoring of Jesus and God instead of people colors the Quintanilla family's vision of how Selena should be memorialized.
Durrill says he found this out the hard way. "Finding out her religion didn't recognize birthdays caused some problems. But we also had to change a tile design on the pavilion to be sensitive to their religion."
An original mosaic design featured a white rose disintegrating into the white light of the heavens. The white rose, Selena's favorite flower, has come to symbolize the singer, who was gunned down by her fan club president two years ago.
The family objected to the design because the Bible says that death rids the body of consciousness. "You stop to exist as a living person," Abraham Quintanilla said, "and you are kept in God's memory for a future time when the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous will take place."