An unborn baby boy was saved by an emergency C-section after a 27-year-old mother was killed in a possible gang-related shooting in Visalia, California, Thursday night, according to ABC 30 Action News.
Police officials say Vanessa Rose Oviedo – who was 35 weeks pregnant – and her 23-year-old boyfriend, Andrew Aguirre, were stopped at a red light in their vehicle with four other passengers, including an 11-month-old baby, near Ben Maddox Way and Houston Avenue around 9:20 p.m., getting ready to make a left turn.
Before the driver, Aguirre, could make the turn, another vehicle pulled next to them in the left lane towards opposite traffic and began shooting, striking Oviedo in the head and shooting her boyfriend in the leg.
None of the other passengers in the vehicle were injured during the shooting, police say.
Although the driver was injured during the shooting, it did not impede him from rushing to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in a bid to save his girlfriend – who has three other children – and unborn child’s life. However, upon arrival, nurses immediately placed Oviedo on a gurney and checked for a pulse but she had already succumbed to her injuries.
Doctors wasted no time and performed an emergency C-section to save the baby boy’s life after the mother was killed in a possible gang-related shooting.
An emergency room physician, Greggory Shubert, stated that the C-section took no longer than 30 seconds.
Recent reports indicated that in all 20 years that Shubert has worked at Kaweah Delta Medical Center, he has never encountered an event of this nature.
“It was heroic,” he added. “This is something we’re taught to do, but this rarely occurs.”
Shubert added that if they would have waited to perform the C-section – possibly another 90 seconds longer – the baby would not have survived.
After the emergency C-section, the baby was listed in stable condition and was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he remains. Aguirre was treated for his leg injury and was released the following day and was able to see his baby boy.
After learning Oviedo’s newborn baby boy was saved by an emergency C-section after his mom was fatally shot in the head, Oviedo’s sister, Ebony Villa, stated that she felt “like she knew what she was doing. My sister fought long enough just for the baby so he could breathe life and hear our goodbyes.”
“She wasn’t going to stop fighting until he was born and safe.”
In a Facebook post followed by a photo of Oviedo, a relative, Adolfo Santos Jr., wrote, “She didn’t deserve to die like this – to get gunned down like this, like an animal in front of her daughter. RIP. We love you.”
The mayor, Steve Nelsen, called the shooting a shame and stated that incidents such as this are rare in Visalia. “It’s a tragic and shocking event, to say the least. Any time there’s a loss of life, I question why,” he said.
“We need to identify who did this and we need to apprehend them and bring them to the full extent of justice.”
A Go Fund Me page was created after the fatal shooting, asking the “community to come together and help us overcome this deadly scene. Please help lay our Vanessa to rest with a proper burial – she leaves behind four children. All your love and help is very appreciated,” according to the site.
Police officials have yet to make an arrest but they are investigating the incident. Thus far, they have uncovered that the assailants were traveling in a compact car and the shooting may have been gang-related.
Anyone with information regarding the fatal shooting of a mother of four, you are urged to contact Detective Brian Somavia at 559-713-4727.
[Featured Image By Goeksfam2/iStock]