What started out as a lovely, fun family tradition ended tragically for the Gallegos family on Sunday. This Sunday started as many others, with their trip to the supermarket where Luis Lopez Gallegos and his wife Perla Avina “would shop for ingredients to prepare her popular posole for her family to enjoy during the Raiders game,” as reported by Contra Costa Times News. Little did they know this would be the last time they would do this together.
As the couple left the Supermercado Mi Tierra on International Boulevard, which was only about a mile from their home in East Oakland, a road-rage driver changed their lives forever. The enraged driver pulled out a gun and sent a barrage of bullets flying into Gallegos and Avina’s Toyota Camry. Perla Avina, 30, was shot in the head in the passenger seat, as reported by KRON 4 News.
In a state of shock, Gallegos rushed to their home just a short distance away to get help.
“I came home because I needed someone to call officers,” Gallegos tells Contra Costa Times. His neighbor, was standing outside across the street, as he watched Gallegos speed into his driveway. Jackson recalls what happens.
“He pulled up really abrupt, halfway in the driveway and called to me. He said, ‘D, call 911. My wife’s been shot.’ We pulled her out of the car and I started giving her CPR, but I pretty much knew she was gone.”
Avina died in the driveway.
This beautiful wife and mother leaves behind four young children, three daughters ages 1, 4 and 8 and her son, 14.
Police report that the details leading up to the shooting are “foggy” according to Gallegos. He told police that another motorist did not like the way he was driving, and fired shots as they were driving, as revealed by Contra Costa Times.
Dwayne Jackson, still in shock from the incident tells Contra Costa Times, “For this to take place at noon, when most people are coming home from church, is awful.”
The following day, Monday, Gallegos stands in his driveway surrounded by family and friends staring at the bullet holes in his car. Still unable to believe what has happened, Gallegos tells how he and Avina were high school sweethearts. The two met when Avina attended Fremont Senior High School and Gallegos attended Oakland Technical High School, per Contra Costa Times.
His four-year-old daughter runs out of the house, throws her arms around her daddy’s leg, and sweetly says, “I love you, Daddy.”
“She doesn’t understand,” Gallegos says of his young daughter.
“She keeps asking when Mommy is coming home. It still hasn’t processed. We had plans to watch the game and (Avina) said ‘I’m going to cook you posole.’ So we went to the store like we always did.”
At this time, according to KRON 4 News, police have not released any information regarding the suspect, or the vehicle involved. However, the police are asking residents and businesses to check any “surveillance video that may have captured” any information that could assist them in their investigation.
Oakland police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Photo Credit: KTVU.com, ContraCostaTimes.com, GeorgianNewsday.com