Girlfriend of Rancho Tehama victim says family is in recovery
RANCHO TEHAMA, Calif. - On the first weekend following a rampage in Rancho Tehama, the girlfriend and mother of James Woods' children spoke out.
Woods was shot by Kevin Neal while driving in his car with his father.
"Hi sissy," said 1-year-old baby James to his 8-month-old little sister Sunday. Both were too young to understand why their 'daddy' and 'grandpa' were still at the hospital.
"They were gone for like an hour or so, and then his dad comes rushing into the house [saying,] James got shot! I'm just like, what I didn't even know what to think," described Ashley Paez, girlfriend and mother of James' children.
She had little time to take in what was happening Tuesday. James Sr. said her boyfriend was on a life flight in critical condition to the hospital and she quickly realized her boyfriend's father had been hit too.
"I just snapped into it, I got in the car and I was rushing down. I had to take his dad to the ER," Paez said.
Both James Sr. and his son James II had been shot by a man who they had never seen before.
It happened on Hillcrest Drive, just before the stop sign. Days later, there were still pieces of glass in the gravel from the shot out car windows. James was driving the car and his dad was in the passenger seat. They heard a shot from behind and when James II looked out his window, he saw Kevin Neal standing there with two guns.
Neal shot James II in the face four times. His father was grazed twice by bullets too.
"Everything was just hanging and [there was] blood everywhere," Paez explained. "[James Sr.] just said he was very lucky that he's alive and [James II] as well. James II, my boyfriend, is just so happy to see his dad, he wants his dad in there 24/7 because he's so happy that he's alive. So happy."
Both are recovering well, but James II still has a long way to go. He's had one of many possible reconstructive surgeries.
It's been a tough week, but Paez said it's only made her appreciate life more. "Don't leave on a bad note, don't argue over stupid things. Just be grateful for every little single thing," Paez said. "I'm like, alright baby, I'm gonna be right here by your side."
The family said they started a GoFundMe account to help pay for those many surgeries and to help with travel costs to and from Enloe Medical Center, where James II is, in Chico. At this point, James II remains in ICU with no set date of when he will be able to go home.
To donate to the Woods family, click here.