Shot in the head by a stranger at a Fourth of July party, recovers fast enough to draw his own defensive handgun and save his family and the rest of his friends.
Imagine you go over to a friend's house to celebrate Independence Day. Someone you don't know is at the party. When everyone is seated to eat, the murderer stands up and suddenly draws out a handgun and begins shooting everyone.
That's what happened to Raul Mendez and his family.
Several accounts seem to be conflicted why and how the murdered happens to be at the party. At least one source says he was invited. Some say he showed up uninvited, but the homeowner graciously welcomed him in.
The best eyewitness account is from Cynthia Mendez, wife of Raul, who is said to have ended the nightmare scenario of a mass shooting inside a typical suburban residence. [NOTE: The emphasis is mine.]
This is from the Mendez GoFundMe page:
The first victim was our dear friend Carl. The perpetrator shot him in the neck, killing him instantly. The second victim was my loving husband and father of two beautiful girls, and a third baby girl on the way. The shooter quickly took aim and shot him in the head from a short distance. I was next to the shooter and with nauseating shock and disbelief, I saw my husband drop to his knees with blood gushing out of his head and onto his neck and shoulder. Dazed, I lunged towards my husband screaming and crying. I desperately told him to get up, willing him to move and be alive. He was immobile and because of the incredible amount of blood-loss, I thought the worst and believed he was dead. A second and urgent thought came to mind that gave me new strength and purpose – I immediately ran to my two beautiful girls that had started to run towards a bedroom to escape the continued gunshots. I had to protect my two girls and my unborn child. Out of sheer terror and desperation, I pushed two dressers to bar the door and hid my daughters and three other children in the closet. Their panicked cries were tearing at my heart, and I told them to stay down and be quiet lest the shooter find us. They listened to my instructions through the continued mayhem of gunfire and screaming in the house.
Meanwhile, the gunman promptly proceeded to chase Conrad, another dear friend, while he attempted to reach the front door; the shooter managed to shoot him in the leg, then he walked up to Conrad and executed him with a single shot to the top of his head. The shooter then proceeded to the main bedroom where he attempted to kill my best friend. He shot her four times in the arm and once in the leg. After he shot her, she was, incredibly, able to use her functional arm and leg, and the remaining strength she had, to wrestle with the gunman. Thanks to her heroic efforts during her struggle, the gunman continued to fire his weapon to kill her. Thankfully, she was able to deflect the weapon causing the perpetrator to fire the remaining bullets in the air. Left with an empty gun, he then began to choke my courageous and bleeding friend to finish her off. As he was choking her, a second friend bravely grabbed a rifle from the closet, but she was unable to load it, so she did the only thing she could think of: she began to desperately strike the gunman with the rifle. As she was striking him, she was also yelling for my husband to come to their aid. She knew my husband always carried a concealed weapon. What she didn’t know at the time, was that my husband had been shot in the head and was likely dead.
After a short struggle against the two brave women, the shooter broke away from the fight and started to reach for a second weapon he carried to continue his killing frenzy. By the grace of God Almighty, my husband was still alive. He had been unconscious and near death after all the bleeding and came to after hearing our friends screaming for help.
Half-conscious, bleeding, and stumbling, my dear husband made his way to the bedroom where he found the gunman. My husband fired multiple shots at the shooter to prevent him from killing our friends with his second weapon. That ended the nightmare and the murderer’s horrible rampage.
Check out the interview with Raul Mendez below:
As we heard earlier in the story, Raul is known to be a consistent concealed carrier. Despite being in a "safe" environment amongst friends, this habit undoubtedly saved many lives that evening.
“If I didn’t have my gun, everyone in the house would have died,” he said. “The news vans would have been front and center. But because I did, you never even heard about it,” he added.