Family speaks after shooting at WVC Smith’s

Local News

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (News4Utah) The mother and three-year-old child hit by bullet fragments at a Smith’s grocery store are recovering at home Thursday. 

The Padilla family said they’re still shaken by what happened 2:00 p.m. Wednesday near 4000 South and Redwood Road. 

“He shot us like this,” three-year-old Esmeralda Padilla-Ortega said, while pointing her finger like a gun. 

“We are just a little bit scared,” her father, Hugo said. 

On Wednesday, the three-year-old walked out of Smith’s with her parents and younger brother when she was hit.

West Valley Police said Rufino Cervantes shot himself once in the leg when bullet fragments sprayed the entrance of the store.

Contrary to that report, the Padilla family remembers Cervantes shooting at them directly with the gun.

“We don’t know him and he doesn’t know us. I don’t know why he did it,” Hugo said. 

Esmeralda’s mother, Erika, has a small bullet scrape below her knee. Esmeralda has more serious injuries. Although three fragments didn’t hit any bone or nerves, doctors left one in her leg. 

The run to the hospital was the latest visit for the Las Vegas family who came to Utah for Esmeralda’s kidney cancer treatments. 

“We come here to save her life and this happens to us. It was a very bad experience,” Hugo said.

Erika said she thought her family was going to die.

“I feel scared to go out to the streets and the stores,” she said, translated by her husband. 

While police said Cervantes fired once at himself, the family doesn’t think it was random. 

“No it wasn’t an accident. I am very sure it wasn’t. He took the gun and he started shooting it everywhere. It wasn’t an accident,” Hugo said. 

Cervantes is charged with felony discharge, aggravated assault and for being a restricted person with a firearm. 

A gofundme.com account has been set up to help pay Esmeralda’s medical expenses. Doctors said her kidney cancer is in remission three weeks ago, but she still needs to undergo a second kidney transplant.

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