A Nebraska woman was shot and paralyzed last month days after giving birth to a baby boy, police said.
Authorities, who responded to a “shots fired call” shortly after 3 p.m. on Nov. 4, found Zaria Rodriguez, 22, suffering from a gunshot wound to her neck, Omaha Police said.
Rodriguez, who was riding in a car at the time of the shooting, was struck by gunfire, while her husband drove their Nissan. She was later rushed to Nebraska Medical Center.
"I only saw my wife collapse," her husband Luis Rodriguez told KETV. “[I] saw her eyes roll back, and I really thought to myself, 'She's gone.’”
Days later, a 17-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the shooting. He faces numerous first-degree felony assault and weapons charges. Oxygen.com has withheld the minor’s name
Shortly before the shooting, Luis said a blue Hyundai sedan pulled up next to his car and began shooting at the couple.
The 22-year-old was instantly paralyzed by the bullet that struck her neck, her family said.
"[She] was paralyzed on impact," Luis said.
Zaria is currently recovering from a surgery stemming from the shooting, according to friends and relatives.
“Zaria had a successful surgery today,” Ellen Scott, who is spearheading donations for the family, wrote on Facebook. “She is able to move her forearms, wiggle her right foot!”
Scott said Rodriguez’s recovery will take up to a month and that she’ll later undergo physical therapy.
"I wish that on nobody,” Zaria’s aunt Tabetha Smith said. “Not knowing if somebody you watched grow up — I'd seen her be born — not knowing if they were alive, if they were dead.”
Zaria Rodriguez is also the mother to a 1-year-old daughter, her family said. They've set up a fundraising page on Facebook to help with medical expenses.
The family has since called on prosecutors to upgrade the teen suspect’s charges from assault to attempted murder.
"I want to bring justice, even though they only caught one person,” Luis Rodriguez said. “There's multiple people. There were two kids in the car that their mother will never hold. She'll never be able to feed her babies.”
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