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Wife and mother of Taft shooting victims speaks

Posted: 9:42 PM, Oct 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-19 02:21:59-04

In an instant on Saturday Marta Espinosa lost three sons and her father-in-law. Her husband was also badly wounded when gunfire broke out at a one year old’s birthday party in Taft. She’s now speaking about the unimaginable grief.

“It’s painful for all of us, because we don’t have our boys anymore,” Espinosa said. “It shouldn’t have happened, but it did.”

Ronnie Rodriguez, Sr. and his son Ronnie Rodriguez, Jr. face charges for the quadruple murder that took place in the 500 block of Wilburn St. Arrest affidavits for the two men cite a witness who says Rodriguez Jr. pulled a gun from his back waistband and started firing when Juan Sandoval Sr., his son, and three grandsons arrived at the party. The documents say the bullets didn’t hit anyone, but the witness says Rodriguez, Sr. then grabbed the gun and shot Sandovar, Sr. and four members of Espinosa’s family. Only her husband, Juan Espinosa Jr. survived. Her sons Juan Sandovar III, Nicky Sandovar, and Jeremy Sandovar did not.

“They didn’t deserve that,” Marta Espinosa said. “They were good people.”

Juan Espinosa remains in a Corpus Christi hospital. His jaw is wired shut after he took a bullet to the face. His wife says his condition is improving.

“He’s doing a lot better,” Espinosa said. “Hopefully he’ll be out soon. He’s walking around getting stronger. He just can’t wait to get out. I’m just glad he’s a lot better now. He’s trying his best to get strong.”

Rodriguez, Jr. is charged with Deadly Conduct and he was released from the San Patricio County jail after posting bail. Rodriguez, Sr. is charged with Capital Murder and remains in the same jail on $1,000,000 bail.

“I just want justice for what happened,” Espinosa said. “Put them away for good, because I wouldn’t want them to get away with what they did.”