A 23-year-old cheated death when he was shot during one of the most notorious crimes in San Diego County. Almost nine years later he’s dead -- the victim of an apparent homicide.
Vanessa and Triston Salladay were high school sweet hearts.
“He was an amazing guy, amazing father. He was my first love, I love him to this day,” Vanessa Salladay said.
She says he wouldn't talk about what happened that day March 5, 2001 when 15-year old freshman Andy Williams opened fire on the Santana High School campus in Santee, killing two fellow students -- Randy Gordon and Bryan Zukor -- and wounding 13 more.
But she knew.
“The guy shot him in his chest and he put his arms up and the guy shot him again and he collapsed to the floor,” she said.
It was a horrifying day -- one that Triston survived.
They eventually married, had a baby and though they divorced, he saw his little girl.
“He was a great dad. He would always tell her ‘let's go to the park’,” Vanessa said.
On Valentine's Day, outside his home in Sacramento, he was in a confrontation with someone he knew. He was stabbed three times and rushed to the hospital.
“At that point I realized he's gone through so much he's going to make it, so it's going to be fine,” Vanessa said.
She was wrong.
“His dad called me back a half hour later and said he'd died,” she said.
Jesus Gallegos, 20, was arrested in the stabbing.
“I wish people would think twice before bringing a weapon around somebody like that, especially the suspect his age, he's 20 years old he had so much life ahead of him both of them are done now,” Vanessa said.
A fund has been set up in Lydia Salladay’s name at Bank of America number 04324-75162.