DENVER -- A woman said Wednesday that her husband was shot by an aggressive driver in a Northfield movie theater parking lot early the morning of July 2. The Denver Police Department said no arrests have been made.
Maria did not want to share her last name, out of fear for her family, because the man who shot her husband is still out there. And her husband is still fighting for his life. He's in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Denver Health Medical Center.
“He's a great person, great father, great husband,” Maria said of her husband, Rico. “He has so much respect for just life in general -- all walks of life,” she said. “He respects everybody.”
Maria described Rico as a caring soul, and a celebrator of their Native American heritage.
“We're actually Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation,” she said.
But now, Maria said her husband’s light is dim. It’s difficult for her to see him lying in a hospital bed.
“Having to see him up there laying like that is something that you just don`t wish on anybody at all,” she said.
It was date night at the movies in Northfield for Rico and Maria. The couple was walking to their car in the theater parking lot after midnight when Maria said an aggressive driver came out of nowhere.
“As we were going across the street, the guy speeds up as though he was going to run into us,” Maria said. “So we had to back up on the sidewalk and he drives off. He stops at the stop sign and he was raising his hands in the vehicle.”
Still, the driver left. They thought it was over.
“And then all of a sudden he drives through the parking lot and right up to Rico,” Maria said.
Maria said the driver pulled out a gun before speeding away, firing twice, with one bullet striking Rico in the abdomen.
“He immediately grabs his stomach and drops to his knees,” Maria said. “I didn't even know how to react, I remember just being so scared.”
Every day since then, Maria and Rico’s family have been by his bedside at Denver Health, hoping to hear his voice.
“We want him home, that's what we want,” Maria said. “We want him to get better and come home.”
Maria said she struggles with what to tell their two young sons, ages 10 and 12, in addition to their 21-year-old daughter.
“My son was asking like ‘Why my dad? My dad takes care of us,’” Maria said.
Maria said she can’t comprehend why this happened.
“There's a lot of people that were hurt because of a senseless act,” she said.
She said it’s frightening to know the shooter is still out there.
“They still haven’t caught him,” she said. “And we’re hoping that justice is served, that we can put him behind bars.”
Maria said Rico lost his left kidney and most of his pancreas. She said he is still in critical condition, in a medically induced coma.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family to help with medical costs and the lack of income while Rico is in the hospital.
"I just want to say thank you to all of those who have helped us, those who have come to see him, who say prayers for him continuously," Maria said. "Thank you to Denver Health and to all of the people who are taking care of him here too."
Police said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.