AURORA, Colo. -- A 25-year-old man is in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to the back he received while riding a bus.
The family of Francisco Andujo said the man was riding an RTD bus in Aurora with his two young children on Sunday when he was shot near East Colfax Avenue and Sable Boulevard.
RTD bus operators are banding together to raise money for Andujo and his children who witnessed the incident.
“Why would they even do something like that in front of small kids knowing that they could get hurt as well," said Christina, Andujo’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his two children.
She didn’t want to be fully identified but said her children are in a lot of pain after seeing their father get shot.
“They are just always wanting to be next to him and go everywhere with him,” she said of 8-year-old Julian and 4-year-old Julissa.
She said Andujo wanted to show the kids downtown Denver on Sunday because they had never been there. The three hopped on a bus and at 3 p.m. The mother then got a call from her son.
“I couldn’t really hear what he was saying. All I could hear was him screaming,” she said.
She hung up and called her son back. A woman answered and told Christina she was on the bus with her kids who were shaken up but OK.
The woman said Andujo was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital after being shot.
“I can’t imagine how they felt just witnessing it and seeing their dad laying on the floor and blood,” Christina said.
Julian told his mother that two men got on the bus, and were yelling and causing trouble.
“His dad told them to please just calm down because there was kids present, and they were cussing and they didn’t like what he told them and that's what caused the problem,” she said.
And when Andujo asked the men to watch what they said in front of the kids, things escalated.
“My son, he’s the one that ran first because they saw the gun first, and then that's when they started running,” Christina said.
Andujo was shot in the back. Christina said the bullet narrowly missed her daughter, who was running next to her dad.
“I just hope they catch whoever it was and something gets done,” she said.
Andujo underwent surgery and was still in the hospital Tuesday. His family said he has a long road to recovery but is expected to be OK.
Many RTD bus operators are thinking about the kids and what they witnessed Sunday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with what they need and also to help with the expenses the family might incur.
The Aurora Police Department said no suspects have been arrested in the shooting but it is actively searching for the two men involved.