The family tells Action News the victim is 42-year-old Jennifer Regan. She remains in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in her torso.
Kim Muller says when she learned her sister had been shot while driving in northeast Fresno last week, she immediately thought back to the conversation they'd had about an ex-boyfriend a couple of weeks prior.
"She goes, 'I'm afraid to leave my house. I'm afraid he's going to shoot me. I don't know what it's going to take,'" said her sister. "She was scared. She said, 'Kim, I am going to live in fear forever."
Regan is described as a cheerful and outgoing mother of two. Her sister says she had only dated 43-year-old Mario Colombo briefly before the harassment began and continued for over a year.
"He was lying in wait when he went to her that day," said District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp. "And he knew where she was."
Police Chief Paco Balderrama says Colombo and Regan were in a brief relationship that eventually took a turn resulting in harassing phone calls and messages.
Behavior that Regan brought to the attention of law enforcement.
"There were threats which the department was currently looking into," said Balderrama.
He says the department was in the process of building a stalking case. Regan even had a criminal protective order against Colombo.
"This is unacceptable to me that someone who is the victim of domestic violence is being assisted by the system but is still attacked and almost killed," said Balderrama.
Officials say Colombo has a criminal history that includes an open case for harassing phone calls with another person, gun and meth possession charges.
"He was out on bail on another case that the victim was cooperative and working with us," said Smittcamp.
Fresno Police say officers respond to about 8,000 domestic violence calls for service per year. Reports are generated for about 7,200 of those calls. About 3,000 domestic violence charges are subsequently filed with the DA's office.
Nicole Linder from the Marjaree Mason Center says domestic violence isn't always physical.
"If you are feeling in your gut right now something that feels like you are scared and afraid even if you can't explain why, please reach out," said Linder.
Chief Balderama says based on his criminal history, Colombo should have never been in possession of a firearm.
In the meantime, Regan's family is urging anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to report the harassment, be persistent in seeking help and to contact the Marjaree Mason Center.
Police have shared the link to a GoFundMe for Jennifer.
If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.