Salt River PD Officer speaks out as his wife fights to recover from Las Vegas shooting

Posted at 10:32 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 12:03:54-04

"We made a promise to each other that we'd take care of one another," said Francisco Calzadillas speaking by phone from a Las Vegas hotel room. 

A promise between a husband and wife but nothing could have prepared them for what would come.   

Francisco Calzadillas had just returned from serving an eight-month tour with the Air National Guard in Kuwait. The reunion with his high school sweetheart swept the pair to Vegas for a concert.  But on October 1, the couple of 13 years was caught in the crossfire of a madman while attending the Route 91 music festival. 

Jovanna, Francisco Calzadillas' wife, struck in the head by one of the bullets, has been recovering at University Medical Center in Las Vegas ever since. 

"I don't know if she understands, if she can hear me but I just tell her don't be scared, that we'll be there with her the whole way," said Calzadillas. 

Francisco, speaking for the first time since the shooting says there are good days and bad. 

"Today she wasn't able to breathe on her own so they had to put her back on the ventilator," said Calzadillas. 

This was not a good day, but he says each time doubt creeps into his mind, his thoughts go to their two children and the community that's been by his side every step of the way. 

"I'm just trying to stay strong for the kids," said Calzadillas. "Even strangers, we've been getting messages from complete strangers that pray for Jovanna and wish for the best, that just keeps our hopes up."

He says heart breaks for his beloved wife every time he speaks to his daughter.

"My daughter will ask for mommy, she'll ask where's mommy, I want to see mommy," said Calzadillas. 

Jovanna's injuries were so severe doctors initially told Francisco she wouldn't make it but with every prayer, Jovanna improved. 

Tonight the police officer used to running to help others is now helpless but still putting his pain aside for a simple reminder to all. 

"Remember them just like you remember 9-11 and the Boston bombing and people like that, don't forget those victims," said Calzadillas.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical costs for Jovanna.