Ernesto Gutierrez, 20 años, fue baleado en el tiroteo de Northwoods Mall en North Charleston | Hispano Herido | Local Spanish News | Noticias NuestroEstado.com
Ernesto Gutierrez, 20 años, fue baleado en el tiroteo de Northwoods Mall en North Charleston | Hispano Herido | Local Spanish News | Noticias NuestroEstado.com

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (The People’s Beat) – A GoFundMe has been set up to help Ernesto Gutierrez, 20, one of the three victims shot on Valentine’s Day at Northwoods Mall.

NuestroEstado.com spoke exclusively with Monica, one of Ernesto’s sisters, who said “he and his girlfriend were at the mall because it was Valentine’s Day.”

Ernesto was the one victim who was in critical condition following the shooting. The two other victims were females, one was shot in a leg and the other was grazed by a bullet.

An emotional sister told NuestroEstado.com that, “when the shooting began, he threw himself on the floor with his girlfriend.” A few moments later they got up and realized that one of the bullets had entered his chest.

According to Monica, Ernesto was bleeding out so his girlfriend helped him get outside the mall where they encountered a police officer. “There was so much chaos in that moment with people running everywhere. The officer was trying to get an ambulance to come to their location but the ambulance could not get through all of the people,” Monica recounted. “The officer ended up having to take my brother and his girlfriend to the ambulance in his car.”

Ernesto underwent emergency surgery at an area hospital and also had “a blood transfusion due to the amount of blood he had lost.” Monica said her the bullet came very close to his heart, causing damage to an artery and other internal organs.

Authorities say that none of the three victims were the suspect’s intended target, who they believe left unscathed.

Daniel Hernandez, one of Ernesto’s cousins, created a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses saying, “It was an unfortunate situation that had him sent to the hospital… He does not have insurance and he will have to carry the financial burden for an incident that should have never happened.”

Ernesto is now at home recovering, “in shock and in much pain… Seeing him hurts us and has been so stressful,” said Monica. “It’s very hard an emotional. It’s a miracle he’s alive and [we’re] very blessed to have him… it will take time to recover but [we] will never forget it.”

Police is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect who might have been the person who opened fire in a common area of the North Charleston mall.

Autoridades buscan a este posible sospechoso | NCPD | Local Spanish News | Noticias Nuestro Estado

Chief of Police for the North Charleston Police Department, Reggie Burgess, walked the mall a few days after the shooting to talk to shop owners, managers and workers to reassure them that they had his department’s support.

Handing out business cards to store managers he said there will be an increase in police presence at the shopping center. Burgess shared that his own wife and kids shop at that mall and that no individual will stop them from shopping there.

State Rep JA Moore also visited Northwoods Mall “to show solidarity and support” after the shooting.

Each year over 3,800 Latinxs die from gun violence in the US, according to a report by Everytown For Gun Safety. The report reveals that “Latinxs are twice as likely to be killed in a gun homicide as white people.” That figure could be higher as the data is limited due to credible fears among Latinxs who lack legal status.

Fear of reporting crimes by undocumented people can be attributed to the destructive anti-immigrant laws and policies sweeping the nation. Laws and policies that NCPD has downplayed for years through community walks in predominant Latinx communities in an attempt to get people to report crimes. However, North Charleston, is one of many jurisdictions in South Carolina that does not always protect victims of crime who come forward.

Meanwhile state legislators are trying to push a bill through that would allow people to open carry. Charleston Police Chief, Luther Reynolds, told the Statehouse Report that “they’re expanding this very quickly and, I think without a lot of thought and discussion.”

Fernando Soto

Fernando is the CEO and Publisher of Spanish language news outlet, NuestroEstado.com. Fernando previously worked for an NBC affiliate in Mobile, Alabama, he then went on to work as a digital media consultant...