Victim Caught in Gang Cross-Fire Would Have Forgiven Killer: Husband

An Escondido woman caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting almost two years ago would have forgiven her killer, her husband said Thursday after the gunman's sentencing.

Dionicio Torrez, who was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder along with a number of special allegations, will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ordered Thursday. 

Torrez was a documented gang member when he opened fire on Grand Avenue in Escondido in March 2017. Police said the shooting happened after a rival gang member wrote graffiti on the defendant's "turf."

One of the stray bullets killed Catherine Kennedy as she was driving home from church.

Kennedy volunteered at St. Timothy’s parish with the youth ministry program and had just been involved in a confirmation class.

The stray bullet from the shooting struck Kennedy in the head and she lost control, crashing her vehicle into another. 

"The tragedy of this is how much Cathy had spent her life trying to make the world a better place, in contrast to this gang violence that is just tearing at our society and killing people," her husband, Kevin Kennedy told NBC 7 on Thursday.

Kevin Kennedy was at the sentencing hearing inside the courtroom in Vista along with other family members as well as relatives of the defendant.

Kennedy (left) with her daughter Alicia De La Rosa.

The victim's brother-in-law said there were no winners in this case, only losers.

After the hearing, the judge said he hopes both families would find peace.

A 16-year-old friend of Torrez who was also convicted of criminal charges in the case was sentenced to 480 days in juvenile custody. 

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