‘The system failed’: Fresno mother fighting for life after allegedly being shot by ex-boyfriend, police say

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FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – Two men have been arrested in connection to a domestic violence related shooting that critically injured a woman in northwest Fresno Friday morning.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced the arrest of 43-year-old Mario Colombo of Clovis, and his alleged accomplice, 57-year-old Jack Noriega of Fresno.

The shooting happened around 8:00 a.m. near First Street and Herndon Avenue as Colombo’s ex-girlfriend Jennifer was driving to work.

Jennifer is still in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center following the shooting.

Her brother-in-law, Michael Muller, says she gave her family a smile Tuesday, so they are not giving up hope.

“She was always happy, always smiling. She is a sole provider for her kids,” said Muller.

Muller describes his sister-in-law as a good soul and full of life but now, she’s fighting for her own.

“As soon as this happened, we knew immediately who it was, but we were in shock obviously,” explained Muller.

Chief Paco Balderrama says detectives were in the process of building a stalking case against Colombo after months of harassment and threats.

“She had documented the incident, she had reached out to law enforcement, we were working with the District Attorney’s Office to file some of these cases, and yet, still even with a victim’s protective order, that’s not a physical barrier to keep someone from attacking somebody,” said Chief Balderrama.

District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says a judge had denied restraining orders and Colombo illegally accessed a gun despite prior weapons and drug offenses.

Smittcamp says he also has an open case for harassing another victim and if it wasn’t for Prop 47, making some drug offenses misdemeanors, he would have likely still been in jail when the shooting happened.

“This is the day that every police officer, every sheriff’s deputy, and every prosecutor who works these cases dreads,” said Smittcamp.

Chief Balderrama says in this case, Jennifer did everything right, but the system failed her.

“This is unacceptable to me that somebody that’s a victim of domestic violence is being assisted by the system and yet is still attacked and almost killed. As a police chief, this is not acceptable to me, and as a police chief, I say we have to do better,” said Chief Balderrama.

Colombo was booked into the Fresno County Jail following his arrest where his bail is set at $3.5 million.

He faces six felonies and if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Jennifer’s family as she continues to recover in the hospital.

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