VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --A pregnant mother was shot to death early Friday at a busy Visalia intersection but her baby survived.
Vanessa Oviedo, 27, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting near Ben Maddox Way and Houston Avenue in Visalia. Four other people were in the car with her, including the driver 23-year-old Andrew Aguirre, two other men and a one-year-old child in a car seat.
They were stopped at the light, ready to turn left onto Houston when another car approached them.
"The vehicle actually pulled up on the left-hand side into opposing traffic and stopped," Lt. Brian Winter with the Visalia Police Department said. "Which is another reason that we believe probably the incident was targeted."
Aguirre was shot in the leg while Oviedo, who was 35-weeks pregnant, was shot in the head and died. Police said both vehicles took off and the victims drove to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where doctors delivered Oviedo's baby by emergency C-section. The child was born premature, but is healthy, and is receiving care in the NICU.
"Any incident like this in our community is terrible to have to deal with, but even more so when it involves in this case, two children," Winter said.
One of Oviedo's Facebook pictures showed the pregnant woman and was captioned, "Can't wait to meet you son." And friends showed an outpouring of emotion when news of her death came.
One friend said, "Rest easy Vanessa. Your laughter will be forever missed." Another said, "You were such a beautiful person and mother may u rest in peace and God be with your beautiful babies."
Meanwhile, Visalia Police detectives have interviewed those who were in the car and said they were friends and family members. They're also reviewing surveillance video from the area and are looking into the possibility that the shooting was gang-related.
Police said the suspects may have been driving a compact car.