A young Nebraska mother out shopping with her family five days after giving birth was left paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in the neck in a drive-by shooting that took place in broad daylight, according to reports. One suspect has been arrested, according to police, but others are still on the lam and now the victim’s husband is asking for the public’s help.
“There are multiple people I want to bring justice, even though they only caught one person,” Luis told KETV Newswatch 7.
Luis was driving with his wife, Zaria Rodriguez, 22, his newborn son and their other child after purchasing a television when he said they were attacked by a group of men who walked out onto the road on Parker Street. Luis said he began to honk his horn to make them aware that he was there. Within seconds, the young father was ambushed. One tried to jump on his car, he said, and he swerved to try and avoid them. A blue Hyundai sedan pulled up next to his car and the bullets started firing.
“I only saw my wife collapse,” Luis said of the Nov. 14 incident. “I saw her eyes roll back, and I really thought to myself, ‘She’s gone.’”
The young father said he rushed to find help and spotted paramedics and firefighters that were nearby. “(Zaria) was paralyzed on impact,” he told KETV.
Zaria, who had given birth to their second child five days before the shooting, was rushed to the hospital.
Luis said that he had a dashcam and the group that attacked him were allegedly seen leaving a store.
The Omaha police department has arrested 17-year-old Cameron Koonce, Jr., who faces several counts of first-degree felony assault and using a gun/weapon to commit a felony. It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.
Luis and Zaria’s aunt, Tabetha Smith, want Koonce to be charged with attempted murder. Luis wants police to find the alleged other suspects responsible for paralyzing his wife and putting his babies’ lives in danger, KETV reported.
“There were two kids in the car that their mother will never hold. She’ll never be able to feed her babies,” Smith said.
A donation page through Facebook has been set up by Zaria’s family to raise funds for medical bills and supplies for her children.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 402-444-STOP (7867) or at www.omahacrimestoppers.org or at www.p3tips.com. Tipsters with information leading to the arrest of a shooting suspect are eligible for a reward of $10,000.