'I saw the bullet hit him': Gardena 7-yr-old recalls horror when dad was shot to death in front of her
GARDENA, CALIFORNIA: A fruit vendor was shot and killed in an attempted robbery on August 4. The incident was largely forgotten as the weeks passed, but his seven-year-old daughter has been unable to move on from the memory of her father dying in front of her.
Sammy Gutierrez said she distinctly remembers the exact moment a bullet hit her father and killed him right in front of her, according to CBS. "I saw it all happen," she said in Spanish. "I was aware of my dad. I saw when the bullet hit him. I saw everything." 34-year-old fruit vendor Severino Gutierrez, who was the father of the young ward, died after the encounter in Gardena.
7-year-old Sammy Gutierrez said she vividly remembers the exact moment a bullet hit her father. https://t.co/NxtdfW0l5H— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) November 22, 2022
"It doesn't make any sense, it really doesn't," Guiterrez continued. "I think my dad is watching me because he's up there and I have some of my family members up there. I think God takes the good people."
The adults in her life are constantly worrying about the 7-year-old’s mental health. Two days after the horrifying incident, Guiterrez's mother applied for victims' services, including counseling for her daughter, through the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. However, the office appears to have failed her so far.
"It's Adriana, which is the wife, who has been calling and just basically getting voicemail after voicemail," street vendor advocate Edin Enamorado said, according to the outlet. "It's been over three months, almost four months ago coming in December, where Sammy has not received any sort of therapy. She's having a lot of crying episodes, traumatic episodes."
Enamorado made visits to the office with the family looking for answers, albeit in vain. "We've tried to get the help and we keep getting the runaround," he added. "My girlfriend has called. We have called." Enamorado is worried that the delay could damage the healing process for 7-year-old Guiterrez. "I think they forgot about us," he said. "They forgot about us."
The family is also trying to work with the school district to get counseling for Guiterrez as early as possible.