Mother relives escape from hostage drama

Mother relives escape from hostage drama
Venessa Chavez (Source: Tucson News Now)
Bullet holes in apartment (Source: Celina Chavez)
Bullet holes in apartment (Source: Celina Chavez)
Bullet holes in apartment (Source: Celina Chavez)
Bullet holes in apartment (Source: Celina Chavez)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Venessa Chavez said she was getting ready to go sleep early Wednesday morning, March 28 when she heard a commotion outside of her apartment near Campbell and Irvington.

Chavez said just moments later, she heard someone banging on her door and window.

Tucson Police say 41-year-old Cisco Castillo made his way onto the balcony of Chavez's apartment. Police say that was when Castillo pulled out a gun and four officers shot him.

Castillo then broke through the window and got inside the apartment, according to police.

Meanwhile, Chavez said she ran into her 3-year-old daughter's room and tried to shield her from the gunfire.

"I thought she was dead. I thought I was seconds late of covering her. And I really thought for a split second a bullet got to her," Chavez said. "And then she opened her eyes and that's when I looked up and that's when I saw the bullet holes everywhere."

Chavez said she managed to get up, lock the bedroom door, and run into a closet with her daughter.

She said she prepared for the worst and called 911 to let them know she was in apartment.  She put her daughter in a hamper and told her not to move, no matter what happened.

The SWAT team was able to help her and her daughter climb out of a two story window to safety.

"They had these helmets and the biggest guns I'd ever seen pointing straight at us and I said don't shoot me and they were like we're just pointing at the door. If he barges in were shooting him on site," Chavez said.

"So I opened the window and I just gave him my daughter and they handled my daughter and I just went on my own."

Chavez was able to return to her apartment Wednesday afternoon. There were bullet holes, blood on the walls and her belongings, and debris scatted throughout the apartment.

She said the damage to her apartment will be fixed but she'll have to find a way to replace her damaged belongings. She is staying with family for the time being.

Chavez said she's thankful she and her daughter able to make it out safely.

"I don't know. I honestly can't tell you how me and my daughter left out of this with not a scratch on us. I just I don't know," Chavez said.

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