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Family: San Ysidro father's dying plea during shootout may have saved son's life

Family: San Ysidro father's dying plea during shootout may have saved son's life
Posted at 5:26 PM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 20:38:48-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Loved ones are grieving the death of a San Ysidro father, killed during a shootout in Ensenada while protecting his son.

"Nothing makes sense right now," said Nayeli Macias.

For Nayeli, the emotions are hard to contain.

She sent ABC 10News a photo taken by her older brother Roberto on Saturday morning, sitting inside his off-road vehicle with his 13-year-old son Julian in Ensenada.

Hours later, at an off-road race event, bullets started to fly.

“They were sitting in the car, and everything started. He told his son, ‘Get out! Get out! Run!’ That's when I think they fell. He laid on his son,” said Nayeli.

Nayeli says Roberto, hit by gunfire, shielded his son, before making a plea to his son .... Roberto's last words before dying.

“He was telling his son to go under the car, so he can be safe,” said Nayeli.

Julian did what his dad asked. He was shot, but would survive.

In all, 10 people died, while 10 others injured. Mexican officials have called it a shootout between two organized crime groups.

“He just was in the wrong spot with the wrong people,” said Nayeli.

Nayeli calls Roberto, a husband and father of two, who worked in warehouse logistics, a happy, hardworking family man.

“I think I'm dead in life without my brother. He was my support. He was everything,” said Nayeli.

Family members released photos of Julian, a 7th grade at Mar Vista Academy, recovering at a hospital. He was shot at least two times, once in the leg. One bullet hit his lung and arm. He remains in stabile condition.

Nayeli is in Ensenada tending to Julian. She started a Gofundme campaign, trying to raise money to transfer him to a San Diego hospital, and to transport the body of her brother back home.

“I just want to give peace to my mom and dad, so they can see him in San Diego and have a place to go to talk to him,” said a tearful Nayeli.

No arrests have been made in the shootout.

Macias is one of two San Diego men killed in the shootout.