HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Lydia Ferguson held her 2-year-old son tightly in her arms as she told 8 On Your Side about the terrifying ordeal her long time partner and children experienced Thursday night during the Tampa shooting rampage.
“We’re going through a lot,” she said. “I don’t wanna be alone. I don’t understand… we didn’t do nothing to this guy.”
Ferguson’s partner of 16 years and the father of her two children, Miguel Ferrer, is still receiving care at St. Joseph’s Hospital after being shot in the hip, according to the family.
“I’m grateful to have both my kids with me,” Ferguson said.
Her two little boys, ages two and four, were in the backseat with their father and grandmother on Sligh Avenue in Tampa when the gunman from the shooting spree opened fire on their minivan.
Ferrer’s mom was injured and has since been released from the hospital, Ferguson said.
She told 8 On Your Side her sons miss their dad and they become emotional every time they FaceTime with him in his hospital bed. There is restricted visitor access at the hospital because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re just crying because my (4-year-old) son’s like a guy was shooting their daddy and he just keeps telling me that,” she said. “He’s like, ‘mom let’s go get dad because they were shooting dad and grandma.’”
Ferguson said she is struggling to help her children cope with what they witnessed. She’s also worried her longtime partner has a long recovery ahead.
“His favorite things is to play basketball,” she said of Ferrer who is 6 feet 6 inches. “And they’re saying its gonna take six to eight months to walk.”
The man arrested for shooting randomly at people, cars and a Tampa police officer across the county faced a judge for the first time Saturday.
Thirty one-year-old Antonio Cruz Ortiz is being held without bond and has his next court date is on Wednesday afternoon.
“Why would you shoot anybody,” Ferguson said, “but why but why would you pull up to a minivan?”
Ferguson told 8 On Your Side she is concerned about paying bills, including rent, while Ferrer is recovering from his injuries and can’t work.
If you’d like to help out her family, a GoFundMe page has been set up.
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