Grandmother of Woman Shot by Police Speaks Out

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CITRUS HEIGHTS-

The car that 22-year-old Gabriella Nevarez allegedly rammed two police cars with before Citrus Heights police fatally shot her, was delivered back to her grandmother’s residence.

“She took my car and I had to call the police and I wish I hadn’t now. I really wish I didn’t. She’d probably still be alive,” Mary Beesely, Nevarez’s grandmother, said Saturday.

FOX40 brought you the story last Sunday. Citrus Heights Police said they received a call for a stolen vehicle and tracked the car through LoJack.

Police said Nevarez evaded them by ramming one patrol car near the 7000 block of Madison Avenue in Citrus Heights, speeding away at over 70 miles per hour, and occasionally traveling on the wrong side of the road. Police said they opened fire on Nevarez after she rammed another patrol car at the 7500 block of Sunset Avenue.

Beesley said that, according to a witness account, her granddaughter reached back into the car on Sunset Avenue after getting out in an attempt to surrender.

“I don’t know if she was putting the car in park, or getting something else. Well that’s when they started firing. They shot her, something like 17 times,” Beesley said.

Tape marked 14 bullet holes on the car that Nevarez was driving. Police have not yet confirmed how many of those bullets entered her body.

“They said they thought she had a weapon. She didn’t have any weapon. She hated guns. She hated guns. She hated violence,” Beesley said.

Beesely said she had further reason to believe Nevarez was standing outside of the car in an attempt to surrender because she found no blood inside of the car.

Beesley said her granddaughter was bipolar and often had episodes where she went into a dark place, but that she was not a dangerous girl.

“She called me. I said come home Gabriella, it’s okay. She said no Nana, you got me F’ed up,”

Beesley said she told police about her granddaughter’s mental illness, and that she thought she’d end up bringing the car home on her own. The thought never crossed her mind that her granddaughter would never come home again. She never imagines her great grandson, Nevarez’s 3 year old son, Vincent, would lose his mother.

“My mind goes over and over it. I can’t sleep at night most of the time. What were her last thoughts? Was she crying out to her mom? To Nana? To Vincent or to the Lord? I don’t know, I’ll never know that,” said Beesley.

Beesely said she and Nevarez’s other family members plan to pursue legal action against the Citrus Heights Police Department.

The investigation has been taken over by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. They cannot comment on the details of this officer involved shooting because of the open investigation. Both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

“She was very loved. They took her out. Just like that. Just like an animal. And she wasn’t any animal. She’s my heart. She’s always been my heart,” said Beesley.

Beesley has set up a donation account at Bank of the West under “Gabriella Nevarez Memorial Fund” or “Justice for Gabby” to help pay for her funeral expenses.

Her family has also set up a Facebook page in her honor. You may view it for details on upcoming fundraisers.

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