Fresno business woman shot, lives to tell in trial

FRESNO, Calif.

Police had to travel to New Jersey to catch Lauro Sanchez and charge him with attempted murder.

For the first time in 15 months, Corina Hernandez came face to face with the man suspected of shooting her.

In court Thursday, she identified Sanchez as the man who came within millimeters of killing her. But her testimony is not the only evidence in the case.

Hernandez says she felt panic come over her when she saw Sanchez pull a gun on her during a robbery at the Southeast Fresno market bearing her name. She struggled with him and moments later, she was shot in the head and couldn't feel anything at all.

"I just felt extremely tired," she said through a Spanish interpreter. "I didn't feel pain."

Hernandez testified through a translator and didn't want us to show how she looks now. But right after the shooting, she talked to Action News about her near-death experience.

"When a person puts a gun here and pulls the trigger you know it's easy I could've been dead," she told us in March 2009.

Hernandez survived with some scarring, nerve damage, and hearing loss. She wanted to go back to work right away, but fear kept her away for 11 months.

"Since this had never happened before, we didn't have a lot of security and I felt like, to come in, I didn't feel secure," she testified Thursday.

Hernandez's description and surveillance video from the store helped lead police to Sanchez. By the time they tracked him down, he had traveled almost 3,000 miles to New Jersey.

His attorney says it's all a case of mistaken identity. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Lauro Sanchez is not the man," said defense attorney Mark Siegel.

The trial is expected to last up to two weeks. Sanchez's girlfriend is expected to testify for the prosecution. She'll talk about why they went to New Jersey.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.