Bay City junior high school students recount shooting of family

Two witnesses on Thursday describe the scene of a Bay City shooting that occurred Wednesday that claimed the lives of four children. The father, the suspected gunman, took his own life afterward.
  • HOW TO HELP FAMILY

  • A fund is established for the family. To make a donation:

    Bay City Tragedy Benefit

    Account number: 94119446972Wells Fargo Bank1801 7th StreetBay City, TX 77414

    Questions may be directed to Michael Gonzales, 979-241-3736, at Wells Fargo Bank.

BAY CITY - When Sierra Arsola saw a woman running toward her covered with blood, she thought it was someone playing a prank.

Walking from Bay City Junior High to her house was something she and her friend Luz Prado, 12, did every day.

But on Wednesday, all that changed.

Walking down 10th Street from school, she saw a woman running toward them asking for help.

"I saw a woman screaming for help and running from her front yard and no one was helping her," she said.

Sierra, 12, said she thought she was trying to hurt them, but noticed the blood coming from the side of her stomach.

"She grabbed my hand and fell on the floor and her nails pressed on my skin and scratched me," Sierra said as she pressed on her injured right wrist.

The injured woman was Laura Gonzalez, who was shot by her husband Jose Avila during an argument they had had minutes earlier inside their mobile home in the 2700 block of 10th Street.

Luz said they saw the man reloading the gun and pointed the gun at the children.

"He then fired and then went to the girl inside the car and shot her, and then he shot himself," Luz said.

They saw him fall to the unpaved dirt road.

When Gonzalez saw what had happened, Sierra said, she ran back to her children to try to protect them.

"By then it was too late," said Sierra.

She said Gonzalez ran up to her husband's dead body and began to kick him and scream at him.

When she stopped kicking him, they saw her walk up to the front steps of the mobile home and continued sobbing, Sierra said.

The police then showed up at the home.

A day after the shooting, Sierra said it feels like it was all just a bad dream.

"I asked my mom if this was just a bad dream, but she said it was not, and I started crying," she said.