"There were two kids in the car that their mother will never hold. She'll never be able to feed her babies," Zaria Rodriguez' aunt said

By Chris Harris
December 01, 2020 12:56 PM
Zaria Rodriguez with her family
| Credit: facebook

A shooting on Nov. 14 in Omaha, Nebraska, left a young mother paralyzed from the neck down — and now, a teen suspect is facing multiple charges, PEOPLE confirms.

Zaria Rodriguez, 22, was shot in the neck five days after giving birth to her second child — a boy.

"At 3:15 p.m., officers responded to the area of 33rd and Parker Street for a shots fired call," reads a statement from Omaha Police.

"Officers then were relocated to a shooting in the area of 30th and Taylor," the statement adds. "Officers were advised that a shooting victim was shot in the area of 34th and Blondo Street. The victim sustained an apparent gunshot wound to the neck. The victim was transported to Nebraska Medical Center for injuries."

Police allege numerous shooters were involved in the violence, but have to this point only arrested Cameron Koonce Jr., 17.

He faces several counts of first-degree felony assault and using a firearm to commit a felony. It was not immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Prosecutors are contemplating an attempted murder charge, according to KETV Newswatch 7, who spoke to Zaria's husband, Luis Rodriguez, who was driving the car when his wife was shot.

"I only saw my wife collapse," said Luis, who rushed to get help after the shooting. He added he "saw her eyes roll back, and I really thought to myself, 'She's gone.'"

The young mother was paralyzed on impact by the bullet, said Luis, who wants police to find the other suspects.

In their interviews with KETV Newswatch 7, Zaria's family members shared their pleas for justice.

Tabetha Smith, Zaria's aunt, said she was heartbroken after learning what happened.

"There were two kids in the car that their mother will never hold. She'll never be able to feed her babies," Smith said.

Zaria's family set up a donation page on Facebook to raise funds for medical bills and needed supplies for her children.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 402-444-STOP (7867) or at www.omahacrimestoppers.org or at www.p3tips.com. Tips leading to the arrest of a shooting suspect are eligible for a reward of $10,000.