NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – The physical and emotional scars are still fresh for a mother in Newport, who is speaking out more than a week after her boyfriend allegedly shot her and killed her only daughter.
Delana Aguirre survived after being shot three times in her home on Wednesday, February 27. Her 18-month-old daughter Tacari Briggs, however, died.
Aguirre is still recovering from her injuries, but has somehow tapped into an unknown source of strength to overcome this tragedy.
"The way this world is going, I'm glad my daughter ain't here no more," Aguirre said. "I know she's in a better place, and I know she's watching over us and smiling down. I know that she ain't going to let nothing bad happen to us.
"I just thank heaven that I have a guardian angel."
Aguirre credits her young daughter for changing her life, twice. She says Tacari's birth set her back on the right track, and now she will use her daughter's memory to stay there.
"With her here, it was motivating me to get up and do something," Aguirre said, "but now it's going to motivate me even more because I know she's looking out for me.
"I got to show her that even though you're not here," she added, "I'm still going to do what I have to do as a mother for you as well as your [two] brothers."
Tacari died last Wednesday after she was shot once while sleeping in her mother's bedroom. Three bullets fired outside the bedroom window also struck Aguirre.
The Newport Police Department named the suspected shooter as Robert Friar, who Aguirre said was her boyfriend that had reportedly become abusive.
"He sent me a text message [last Tuesday] talking about I'm going to have the last say-so. You and your mom, tell your kids you love them," she recalled.
Aguirre says Friar had threatened her several times during the past few months, but she wishes now that she would taken the threat in that text message more seriously. It came a few hours before Friar called her again, apparently from outside her window.
"When I answered the phone [around 2:30 a.m.], I was like hello. He said something. I didn't catch what he said, so I was like what did you say?" Aguirre said. "Then, he hung up the phone, and that's when he started shooting."
Aguirre only got to see her daughter Tacari again at the funeral this week. She says she now has to be strong so that she can seek justice for her guardian angel.
"If the courts don't do it," she said, "God will."
A memorial is planned Sunday, March 10, for Tacari. It will be held at 5 p.m. at The Crossroads Church, located in the Shearer Center at 945 Hout Circle in Newport.
Aguirre will have to see her ex-boyfriend again next week for the first time since the shooting. Friar will be back before a judge on March 12 facing several charges that include capital murder.