TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) — Gabriela Castilla’s family was emotional as they addressed the media and spoke about her shooting death Monday evening.
Taylorsville Police said Castilla was shot several times and killed by 36-year-old Manuel Perea, who is still on the run.
The family confirmed Perea and Castilla were in a relationship and Castilla had broken up with him roughly two weeks ago.
Now her family said they want to get justice for Castilla and help those who are victims of domestic violence.
“I wish to my sister was alive,” said Gabriela Castilla’s sister Rocio Sifuentes.
Sifuentes was in agony Monday night.
“She was a really lovely woman and really brave,” said Sifuentes.
Sifuentes said she watched her sister get shot several times by her ex-boyfriend Manuel Perea.
She added she was clinging onto her sister as she said Perea also shot at her and missed.
She had to tell her nieces including Castilla’s nine-year-old daughter Julieta to run to another room and lock the door.
“I’m super angry and super sad,” said Sifuentes.
Taylorsville PD believes Perea may have left the state to go to Mexico, which is where he is from according to Sifuentes.
Authorities are asking community members to look for 36-year-old Perea and his 2000 Chevy truck.
“I know she is dead and I know she is going to send a message to a lot of girls, like we have to take this bad situation and make it something good,” said Castilla’s brother-in-law Juan Hernandez.
Hernandez said the family wants others in domestic violence situations to be able to get the help they need to matter how hard it may be.
“We definitely know that there are of persons of color who experience violence at a greater rate and also sadly it’s not as, it’s not as reported,” said a member of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, Liz Solis.
There are resources for domestic violence victims all throughout the state and Salt Lake City.
“It is very important that we recognize it, but anybody can be a victim of domestic violence and that’s as a society as a whole we need to bring attention to everyone who is a victim of domestic violence,” said Solis.
Solis said what people should do if they need help.
“Talk to people who you can,” said Solis. “Trust people who you are close to and in this case I think it sounds like she was she was with family who supported he and who was proud trying to provide her a safe space and unfortunately many times users don’t respect those boundaries.”
Castilla broke up with Perea roughly two weeks ago according to her sister.
Solis says it’s important everyone look out for the signs of domestic violence which include power, control, and gaslighting.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, YWCA, Utahns neglect hotline and the national domestic violence hotline. Those numbers are on your screen.
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition: Utah’s confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
- YWCA Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
- Utah’s statewide child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-855-323-DCFS (3237)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233