BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A shooting that left two people injured and one dead marred the Fourth of July forever for one family.
Bakersfield police said the shooting happened in the 1000 block of Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard near East 10th Street around 11:07 p.m.
One of the victims, 48-year-old Susana Ortiz, was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later.
“She was the most loving person,” said Ortiz’s daughter-in-law, Maria Villarreal, who was also shot that night and survived. “When everything was happening that night, her first thought was her grandchildren.”
Villarreal said she did not know who the third victim was nor did she know the shooter. BPD confirmed a second woman suffered critical injuries but was in stable condition as of Tuesday and a teen boy had injuries that were not life-threatening. BPD said they do not currently have any public suspect information available.
Villarreal said Ortiz managed to put all her grandchildren inside before she was shot. Villarreal said Ortiz was shot in front of them, leaving them crying, scared and not knowing if their grandmother was okay. Villarreal added that her four daughters, 10, 7, 6 and 4, all lived with Ortiz.
Villarreal described the scene of her eldest having been witness to the shooting.
“She watch her grandma get shot. She was screaming, scared, trying to help her but she couldn’t,” Villarreal said. “All she was saying was, ‘Grandma no, no grandma, get up.'”
“Yesterday I had to break the news to my four daughters[…]that grandma didn’t make it and it was the hardest thing to do as [they] where so attached to her,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal said her 7-year-old daughter always slept with Ortiz because she didn’t like her grandmother to be alone.
“When me and her dad told her, she cried for hours until she fell asleep and would wake up asking if her grandma was okay,” Villarreal said. “It’s just so hard trying to explain to her while she’s so little.”
“I just want people to know that she did everything she could to keep her grandchildren safe and she managed to,” Villarreal added. “Even if she had her life taken away, her last job as a grandmother was complete.”
As Villarreal awaited surgery, she had this to say to the shooter:
“How can you just shoot at a house with children outside? All we were trying to do is enjoy our 4th of July but now it won’t ever be they same as my daughter’s would remember that day as the day mommy and grandma got shot but grandma didn’t make it.”
No arrests have been made yet. Anyone with information should call BPD at 327-7111.
A GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses for Ortiz can be found here.