A mum has told how her heavily pregnant daughter was gunned down by her abusive boyfriend who kidnapped their son – leaving her to raise remaining children.
Audrey Rivera, 34, was nine months pregnant when she was shot in the face by her on-and-off boyfriend Javier Vidal, 36, after a row.
Audrey’s mum Patty, 59, was called to the scene by a family friend who heard gunshots, and found her daughter with a wound to her face.
And while medics battled to save Audrey and her unborn baby, Vidal fled with their son, Elias, then two, who was thankfully found unharmed nearby.
When police eventually tracked down the armed abuser, he allegedly opened fire on deputies, and was shot dead by police after a lengthy stand off.
Devastatingly Audrey died, and three days later newborn Josiah passed away, after Patty made decision with doctors to switch off his life-support machine.
Six months on, Patty is now caring for Audrey’s three children – Elias, now three, and his two sisters – and keeping her daughter’s memory alive.
She spoke to the Real Fix podcast which features people telling their own real life stories, in their own words, about the moment she found her daughter.
The grandmother, from Lamont, California, US, said: “I thought she was just unconscious and he knocked her out.
“I looked closer and I seen a little hole in her cheek with blood coming out of it and her eyes were open.
“I just started screaming ‘he’s shot her’.
“I had hoped that [Josiah] would survive and [Audrey] would live on through him.
“I got to hold him when he took his last breath and I told him to go ahead and be with her – she needs you and she’s waiting for you.”
Patty’s family were enjoying a BBQ in April 2020 when an argument broke out between Audrey and Vidal at another home nearby.
Gunshots were heard coming from inside and Patty rushed to the house but when she arrived she found her daughter Audrey not moving on the sofa.
Neighbours began performing CPR on Audrey and Javier vanished along with their son, Elias.
The little boy was found safely just after 11pm that evening and Javier was located by a SWAT team.
Vidal was declared dead at the scene at about 4am Monday the next day.
Patty said: “I thought he would kill them all.
“He was firing back and forth – it was over 500 shots I heard.
“I think he did that on purpose – he was a coward – wanted them to shoot him instead of go to jail and pay for what he did.”
Audrey was taken to hospital but didn’t survive and her baby – Josiah Rivera – was delivered by emergency c-section on April 12 2020.
He survived just three days but suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain, and died in Patty’s arms.
“I so wanted him to make it,” she told the weekly Real Fix podcast, which features extraordinary true stories.
“He never breathed on his own and was on a breathing tube for three days.
“Doctors told me he was suffering and I should let him go.
“I felt her and I told him to go ahead and be with when he took his last breath.”
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