Fresno workplace shooting victim home from hospital

December 7, 2012 12:52:10 AM PST
A survivor of a deadly workplace shooting is out of the hospital. But his family tells Action News he has a long road to recovery.

Three people died in a shooting at a Central Fresno meat packing plant last month, including the gunman.

28-year-old Arnulfo Conrriquez was shot in the face. His brother said the bullet went through his cheek and came out through his neck on the other side. His jaw is now wired shut after doctors had to rebuild it. But they still don't know whether the damage to his vocal cords is permanent.

Conrriquez and his family thought he'd never make the walk into his home again. Conrriquez suffered severe injuries when he was shot in the face while at work last month. His brother, Joel Conrriquez, remembers every detail of that deadly day.

"Like a nightmare," Joel said. "I was looking at the news? I wouldn't imagine that one of the victims was my brother."

Joel even remembers when, at 1:28 pm exactly, he got a phone call from his friend, Arnulfo's co-worker at a central Fresno meat processing plant, hours after news of the shooting spread.

"That's when I knew what was going on," Joel said.

At the hospital later, he heard the good news Arnulfo was alive. And in the weeks since the shooting doctors rebuilt his shattered jaw with a titanium plate. They said he may not even fully be able to use his vocal cords again.

"He can speak, but you have to be very close to hear what he's saying," Joel said.

The Conrriquez family said it was like a party when Arnulfo came home. His mom spent almost every night in the hospital with him. She said she's happy he's home and she thanks God he wasn't killed.

Two other victims died in the shooting. Police said just a few hours into his shift Lawrence Jones pulled out a gun and began methodically shooting at his coworkers. Dozens of people were working in the plant during the shooting. Jones later took his own life.

"It was sad because I met one of the victim's mom," Joel said. "It was really sad."

For now, Arnulfo is slowly recovering and is thankful he survived.

Arnulfo will have to wait at least five more weeks until he can have the wires from his jaw removed.


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