SELMA, California (KSEE) -Like many brothers, 6-year-old Luis and 7-year-old Ramiro share a close bond.
“When he gets scared at night I tell him to hold my hand and when he is scared to squeeze it that way I can wake up,” said Ramiro.
On a Sunday, October 13, they grew even closer, after going through what no child should ever experience. Both children were shot while in the back seat of their parent’s car on the way home from church. The shooters then drove off.
“My brother was crying a lot and I just closed my eyes,” said Ramiro.
A bullet hit Luis’s leg and went into his brother’s arm. Ramiro recalls trying to keep his brother awake as they waited for an ambulance.
“That isn’t good because when something shoots at you and you fall asleep that’s when you die for reals,” said Ramiro.
“I didn’t want to die for reals,” said Luis.
After a week in the hospital, Luis could walk again. Unlike the bullets, fear, never left the family with the suspects on the run for almost three months.
“They’re scared when they hear police sirens. They say, ‘They’re coming again to shoot us’ and they hide underneath their blankets, they’re scared,” said their mother Luisa who was in the passenger seat when it happened.
This week, police arrested three men suspected of carrying out the shooting. They were also arrested for another drive-by shooting at a home in Selma later that same night. Luisa and her family think they were the wrong targets, caught in the crossfire.
At the Salazar Community Center just a block away from the shooting, Boys and Girls Club Director Mark Armenta said at first he thought it was one of his kids who was shot.
“We sympathize with the family that they are doing great and can move on with their lives now,” said Armenta.
He says his doors are always open for kids in need of a safe place.
“It’s a place for kids to come and be a kid, not to be out on the streets,” said Armenta.
“I feel for their (the suspects) mothers because I think they’re thinking about their sons and their sons are in bad times doing what they’re not supposed to. Well, I feel for them,” said Luisa.
Luisa said her children have gone to counseling at school to help work through the trauma.