MADERA, Calif. (KSEE) — 32-year-old Calley Garay was killed outside a Madera health clinic Tuesday while shielding her three children from gunfire.
“I just want her to be remembered as a brave mother, a wonderful mother, probably the best mom that a child probably could’ve had, but it was cut short,” said Calley’s stepson Julio Garay Jr. “She always had promised that she would protect her boys to her last breath, and that’s exactly what she did.”
The suspected shooter was her estranged husband Julio Garay.
Madera Police said he was arrested in May for domestic violence against Calley, but bailed out shortly after.
Her stepson Julio Garay Jr. said she confided in him about the abuse.
“And she finally built up the courage to go, and we kept in contact daily. She was so happy to finally be free, to be out of the situation,” said Garay Jr.
Court records show Calley was able to get a restraining order against Julio in June.
“She had the courage all along, she just didn’t know that she had it,” said Garay Jr.
Garay Jr. said law enforcement needs to take domestic violence cases more seriously, so this doesn’t happen to another family.
“We hope and pray that everyone can see past her as a victim, and more as a hero because that’s who she was. She was a hero,” said Garay Jr.
Garay was arrested Wednesday morning in Monterey County and booked at the Madera County Jail. His case has been turned over to the Madera County District Attorney’s Office, and prosecutors are expected to formally charge him soon.