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Ex-wife of accused Orange shooter expresses horror at massacre

The ex-wife of a man accused of killing four people in a mass shooting this past week expressed horror Saturday at the massacre of her former colleagues at an Orange real estate company.

Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez is accused of carrying out the slayings at the offices of Unified Homes, a mobile home sales business where his ex-wife, Aleyda Mendoza, used to work. Mendoza on Saturday said she has no idea what could have sparked the shootings.

“I don’t have the words to describe the pain and horror that this tragedy has caused me – this should have never happened,” she said in a statement to SCNG. “My heart is crushed, I still can’t accept that this happened, I keep closing my eyes and praying to God this is all just a bad dream and I’ll wake up soon.”

Mendoza described Unified Homes as “my home for more than 10 years,” and said the owners and co-workers “were my family.”

She wrote, “I learned everything I know there and they shaped who I am today. They always supported me and were there for me and my children whenever I needed them most.”

Mendoza said she separated from Gonzalez about two years ago, and since then had not heard from him regarding where he was staying or what he was doing. Since the shootings, Mendoza said, she has received threatening calls, leaving her own family in fear for their lives.

“It hurts me even more knowing my ex-husband was capable of doing such a horrible thing, I can’t understand what went through his head to make such a terrifying decision,” Mendoza said.

“He left behind a sea of pain and grief for so many families who can’t find comfort,” she added

The deadly shooting rampage shocked the normally quiet Orange community and marked the largest mass killing in Orange County since the nearly decade-old massacre that left eight people dead at a Seal Beach salon.

Gonzalez, 44, faces four counts of murder for the slayings of Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Matthew Farias, 9.

The alleged gunman also faces three attempted murder charges related to Matthews’ mother, Blanca Ismeralda Tamayo, who remains at a hospital in critical condition, and two police officers, who were not injured. Family members have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise donations for Tamayo’s medical expenses.

Luis Tovar had two children with Blanca Tamayo, including one of the victims, Jenevieve Raygoza. Victim Leticia Solis Guzman worked at Unified Homes with Tovar and Tamayo.

An alleged special circumstance for multiple murders would make Gonzalez eligible for the death penalty, should prosecutors opt to pursue it. Gonzalez, who as of Friday was still unconscious at a hospital, has not entered a plea.

Authorities have not outlined an exact motive for the killings, though their working theory of the case involves a personal conflict between Tovar, who owned the business, and Gonzalez.

Luis Tovar Jr. recalled meeting Gonzalez at family events, but said he saw no signs of tension between Gonzalez or anyone in his family. He knew of no link between the family and Gonzalez, other than Gonzalez’s ex-wife once working for Unified Homes, and didn’t know why his family, and particularly the boy, would apparently be targeted.

“He was just trying to cause as much damage as he could,” Luis Tovar Jr. said Saturday, regarding the rampage.

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31. Two officers responding to multiple reports of shots fired at 202 W. Lincoln Avenue were met by gunfire at a business complex where the entryways had been secured shut with bicycle cable locks.

The officers returned fire. Gonzalez, who authorities say was wielding a Glock semi-automatic handgun, was struck in the head by a shot fired from an officer’s rifle.

Inside the courtyard, the officers found a wounded Tamayo, the body of 9-year-old Farias and a wounded Gonzalez. The bodies of the other victims, Tovar, Raygoza and Guzman, were found inside upstairs offices and on an outdoor landing.

Along with the handgun, police say, Gonzalez had a backpack containing pepper spray, handcuffs and ammunition.

Staff writers Eric Licas and Jeff Collins contributed to this report.

Source: Orange County Register

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