Family remembers loved one who died after being shot through wall

Lancaster

The family of a Lancaster woman who died after being shot through the wall by her neighbor last week is remembering her as a gift from God.

Jose Arroyo called his wife Nelmarys Rivera-Alequin the most beautiful human being he’s ever known.

“Anybody that knows my wife … she’s an angel,” Arroyo said.

On April 15, Arroyo was lying in bed next to his wife of 18 years when a bullet came through the wall of their East Liberty Street home.

“I said it like three times … What was that, screaming. She wasn’t responding to me,” Arroyo said.

The family’s son Zion, a senior at McCaskey High School, also saw his mother shot.

“I couldn’t sleep because I kept seeing the vision of my mom with her wound on her head and her reaching out to me,” Zion said.

Rivera-Alequin was struck in the head and was on life support at Lancaster General Hospital, surrounded by family. Knowing the prognosis did not look good, they even held a small graduation for Zion so she could be there.

Then on Monday, a week after the incident and a day after the family took her off the machines, Nelmarys died. 

Police say it was a neighbor, Allante Floyd, who accidentally fired the shot while he was preparing to clean his gun.

Arroyo says Floyd was one of the first people to try to get help. “He’s asking is she alright, I’m sorry I don’t know what happened,” Floyd said.

The family says they hope to make peace with Floyd, even though they believe he took away the centerpiece of their lives. 

“Wishing him bad, like wishing him death, isn’t going to bring my wife back. I saw him and in his eyes he was sorry,” Floyd said.

There are two GoFundMe pages to help with the funeral costs:

https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-zion-arroyo-and-family
https://www.gofundme.com/nelmarys-rivera039s-medical-expenses

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