PHOENIX — In what was supposed to be a family Fourth of July celebration, grief and heartache were centerstage after a mother of six, grandmother to one, and family to dozens more was suddenly shot and killed Saturday morning.
Corina Leyva, 41, was shot and killed by a single bullet after attending a birthday party with her boyfriend. Her family believes it was her boyfriend who pulled the trigger during an altercation.
"Nobody knows my sister’s story and how special she is," said Betty Leyva, Corina Leyva's sister. "They had only known each other for less than five months, and he had taken something so special from us away."
Betty Leyva and other family members say it was an abusive relationship.
"He was very controlling and didn’t let her be around family," said Betty Leyva.
Corina Leyva became a widowed mom to six children when her husband unexpectedly passed in November of 2019. Last year, she became a grandmother.
Betty Leyva remembers her little sister as radiant, able to light up a room as soon as she walked in.
"She loved to dance," said Betty Leyva. "She loved her children all very much."
"This was my “Reina," said Mary Leyva, Corina's mom. "My little queen girl."
Mary Leyva was recently released from the hospital after battling COVID-19 for six months, two of which she was on a ventilator.
She and Corina would drink coffee every day, and the day before Corina died, she brought Mary Leyva a bouquet of roses and had coffee together for the first time since she was released.
"She was gonna come and take care of me, bathe me and take care of me," said Mary Leyva. "It breaks my heart, so bad, knowing that I don’t have my daughter no more."
Corina Leyva's family and children said they have called the police multiple times reporting violence from Corina's boyfriend against their mom. Corina's family said one time, he even threatened to kill Corina in front of her kids.
"It’s a horrible situation and any young girls who are possibly going through that situation it’s important for them to get out of it as fast as possible," said Betty Leyva.
A GoFundMe has been set up by the family to help with funeral costs.
Editor's Note: This story initially incorrectly linked the incident to a different shooting near 35th Avenue and Southern Avenue.