A estranged wife of a man suspected of killing four inside Mass shootings in Orange, CaliforniaLast week, she said she was devastated – and also afraid because her family was threatened.
“There is no word to explain the pain and horror that this tragedy caused me,” wrote Aleyda Mendoza in a long text message to USA TODAY and other media outlets. “My heart is crushed.”
Amminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, 44, was arrested Wednesday after a gun battle with police at a mobile home office where a nine-year-old boy and three others were killed. Gakushiora, who was injured in the exchange, faced murder and was charged with attempted murder.
Police have not determined motivation. During an arrangement from his hospital bed on Friday, assistant public defender Ken Morrison said his client had been unknowingly unable to speak since the shooting. The hearing continued until Monday until the latest information on Gaxiola’s condition was available.
Mendoza wrote that she still can’t accept what happened.
“I close my eyes and keep praying to God. This is all just a bad dream and I will wake up soon,” she writes.
Mendoza writes that he hasn’t been in contact with Gaxiola since it was separated about two years ago.
“Knowing that my ex-husband was able to do such a horrible thing hurt me even more,” she added. “He left a sea of pain and sorrow for so many families who could not find comfort.”
The massacre is the latest in a series of mass shootings nationwide after settling in a COVID-19 pandemic. A massacre took place a week after a Colorado Boulder shooter killed 10 people in a supermarket. A week earlier, gunmen in the Atlanta area killed eight people at three spas, most of them Asian women.
According to California police, Gaxiola lives in a nearby motel and arrives at the scene in a rental car about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. He locked the gates of the office suite before the attack, and the corresponding police heard the gunshots and called a sergeant to bring in a bolt cutter.
A security video in the office showed a shooter armed with a semi-automatic pistol, carrying a backpack that authorities said contained pepper spray, handcuffs, and ammunition, and wearing a bandana on his face.
The victim was identified as Luistober, 50, who owned the Unified Home. Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; Genevieve Reigoza (28 years old) and her brother Matthew Farias (9 years old).
Farias died in his mother’s arms, Blanca Tamayo, an employee of Unified Homes who was shot but survived. Tamayo said Matthew is usually in after-school day care, but he was with her on Wednesday afternoon. When the police arrived, Tamayo was hugging his dead son.
Tober had previously been associated with Tamayo, who were Reigoza’s parents.
“I didn’t expect this to happen in our dreams,” Alec Torres, a partner at Unified Homes, who wasn’t in the office at the time, told CBS affiliates in Los Angeles. “We were shocked to know that he was. There was never bad blood.”
Mendoza said he has worked for Unified Homes for over a decade and considers owners and employees to be family members.
“I learned everything I knew there and they shaped who I am today,” she wrote. “They always supported me and were there for me and my children whenever I needed them the most.”
“Now my children and I are afraid of our lives,” Mendoza said, adding that he had received a threatening call since the shooting.
Contributed by: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY; Associated Press
This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Shooting in Orange County, California: Suspect’s estranged wife speaks