‘My dad just shot my mom’: Family reacts to Fresno church shooting

Family reacts to Fresno church shooting_64012546

The Fresno County Coroner’s office identified the victims shot outside a church in Southwest Fresno.
Police said Raul Herrera, 51, and Martha Garcia were shot Sunday, outside Saint Alphonsus Church by Garcia’s husband.

Police say the shooting may have stemmed from the couple’s pending divorce.

The family said they are all still trying to make sense of the whole situation.

They said Manuel was not a violent man and say most of the family, including Manuel, knew about Martha’s boyfriend.

“She said well my dad just shot my mom and her boyfriend,” Maria Iqbal, a family member, said.

These are the words Iqbal says the Garcia’s daughter told her during the standoff between police and Manuel.

Iqba said their family is still trying to understand why police say her brother’s father-in-law would allegedly take the lives of two, then turn the gun on himself.

“We’re still all in shock, in disbelief, we’re just trying to cope with the situation,” Iqbal said.

61-year-old Martha Garcia and her boyfriend, 51-year-old Rual Herrera, left Sunday morning mass at Saint Alphonsus Church in Southwest Fresno when shots rang out.

The suspected gunman police say, Martha’s husband, 64-year-old Manuel Garcia, shot both in a car, in the church parking lot.

“She was shot in the chest and the head. and then shot rual herrera also in the chest and head area,” Chief Jerry Dyer of Fresno Police Department, said.

Martha died on scene, Rual was rushed to the hospital were he later died.

Police said Manuel text his daughter, goodbye, confessing to killing her mother. Police say he then told her he was going to shoot himself at their home on California Street, near Arthur.

Police sent a robot inside and Manuel was reportedly found dead in the living room.
holding a handgun.

“It’s again a tragic incident that occurred on the Lord’s day,” Dyer said.

The family said Martha and Manuel were married for 43 years but had been living separate lives for a few years.

They said even though they were separated they remained living in the same house.

The family said on Halloween Martha offically filed for divorce. They said now they’re left puzzled as to why their family member would allegedly do this.

“He was a nice guy, never expected anything like this to happen,” Iqbal said.

The family is making funeral arrangements. Police continue to investigate.

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