Ex-wife of accused Orange County shooter expresses horror at massacre – East Bay Times
The ex-wife of a man accused of killing four people in mass shootings last week was appalled on Saturday by the massacre of her former colleague at a real estate company in Orange.
Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez is charged with carrying out the murders in the offices of Unified Homes, a mobile home sales shop where his ex-wife Aleyda Mendoza used to work. Mendoza said Saturday she had no idea what might have started the shootings.
“I don’t have the words to describe the pain and horror this tragedy caused me – it should never have happened,” she said in a statement to SCNG. “My heart is down, I still can’t accept that this happened. I keep closing my eyes and praying to God. This is all just a bad dream and I’ll wake up soon.”
Mendoza described Unified Homes as “my home for over 10 years” and said the owners and staff are “my family”.
She wrote: “I learned everything I know there and they shaped who I am today. They have always supported me and were there for me and my children whenever I needed them the most. “
Mendoza said she broke up with Gonzalez about two years ago and has not heard from him since then, where he was or what he was doing. Since the shootings, Mendoza said she has received threatening calls and left her own family in fear for their lives.
“It hurts even more to know that my ex-husband was able to do such a terrible thing. I can’t understand what went through his mind to make such a terrible decision,” said Mendoza.
“He left a sea of pain and grief for so many families who cannot find comfort,” she added
The deadly rampage shocked the normally quiet community in Orange and was the largest mass murder in Orange County since the nearly ten-year-old massacre that killed eight people in a parlor in Seal Beach.
Gonzalez, 44, has faced four murders for killing 28-year-old Jenevieve Raygoza. Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Matthew Farias, 9.
The alleged gunman also faces three attempted murders related to Matthews’ mother, Blanca Ismeralda Tamayo, who is in critical condition in a hospital, and two police officers who were not injured. Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Tamayo’s medical expenses.
Luis Tovar had two children with Blanca Tamayo, including one of the victims, Jenevieve Raygoza. Victim Leticia Solis Guzman worked at Unified Homes with Tovar and Tamayo.
An alleged special circumstance for multiple murders would call Gonzalez into question for the death penalty if prosecutors choose to prosecute her. Gonzalez, who was unconscious in a hospital as of Friday, has not made a request.
Authorities have not set out an exact motive for the killings, although their working theory of the case involves a personal conflict between Tovar, who owned the company, and Gonzalez.
Luis Tovar Jr. recalled meeting Gonzalez at family events, but said he had seen no signs of tension between Gonzalez or anyone in his family. He was unaware of any connection between the family and Gonzalez, other than Gonzalez’s ex-wife, who once worked for Unified Homes, and did not know why his family, and the boy in particular, would appear to be targeted.
“He was just trying to do as much damage as possible,” said Tovar Jr. on Saturday.
The shooting took place around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31st. Two officers responding to multiple reports of gunfire at 202 W. Lincoln Avenue were shot at a business complex where entrances were locked with bicycle cable locks.
The officers returned fire. Gonzalez, who was said to be carrying a semi-automatic Glock pistol, was hit in the head by a shot from an officer’s rifle.
In the courtyard, officers found a wounded Tamayo, the body of 9-year-old Farias and a wounded Gonzalez. The bodies of the other victims, Tovar, Raygoza and Guzman, were found in upstairs offices and on an outdoor landing.
Along with the gun, Gonzalez had a backpack with pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition, according to police.
The authors Eric Licas and Jeff Collins contributed to this report.