California Man Fighting For His Life After Being Shot By Abusive Partner of Woman He Was Helping, Family Say

A man is fighting for his life after being shot in the head by the abusive partner of a woman he was trying to help, his family have said.

Elias Garibay was having dinner at Tortilleria Flores in Yuba City, California, on Friday night when the shooting occurred, CBS Sacramento reported.

When a woman entered the restaurant with an infant looking for protection, Garibay offered to help—and was shot by the woman's partner, the station reported.

The 45-year-old was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, where he is in a critical, but stable condition after undergoing surgery, according to CBS Sacramento.

Garibay's sister Carmen Harris told the station that her brother has a "big heart," adding: "He'll give his jacket off his back to help you."

Rita Alvarez, a family friend, said that Garibay's family want justice for what happened to him.

"Eli did the unknown nowadays. He came out and he did what he felt was right and that was to protect a mother and child," she told CBS Sacramento.

Victor Esquivel, 35, the suspect in the shooting, fled the scene and headed to Mexico. He was arrested in Santa Clarita, California, in the early hours of Saturday morning by officers from the California Highway Patrol who received information on the suspect from Yuba City Police Department.

Esquivel is being extradited back to Sutter County, where he will be facing an attempted murder charge, according to CBS Sacramento. Newsweek has contacted the Yuba City Police Department and the Sutter County District Attorney for comment.

And while Harris said she is glad the man accused of shooting her brother is in custody, she told the station it "won't bring back my brother the way he was before."

Garibay's family have set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds to cover his medical expenses.

A post on the fundraising page said Garibay was "enjoying his Friday night at Yuba City's Tortilleria Flores restaurant when he was shot in the head, while trying to protect a woman and infant who were seeking shelter from an abusive male."

The latest update on the page, posted on Sunday, said Garibay is "proving to us he's fighting hard to stay."

A previous update explained that he had made it through surgery with doctors waiting for the swelling on Garibay's brain to go down so they could test his brain function.

"There is a waiting room full of people who love and care deeply for this man, this self-less act has made his true, amazing, beautiful character shine through," the post added.

Stock Pic of Crime Tape
Stock photo. A 45-year-old man was shot in the head by the partner of a woman he was trying to help in Yuba City, California, his family have said. Getty/Carl Ballou