ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orlando mother is speaking out for the first time after losing both of her sons to gunfire in separate shootings just minutes apart.
Dylan Jimenez was shot after an argument with another man, then shortly after, his older brother Bryan Richardson was shot by a responding Orange County deputy.
It took Ada Blaker four seconds to go from one heartbreak to the next.
“It was shocking. I was watching both of them dying at the same time,”
Blaker said. Blaker said she only could watch as her only two sons were killed on Aug. 6.
“It’s like my heart has been ripped from my chest, and all in a matter of minutes,” Blaker said.
Orange County sheriff deputies said Rafael Villaverde shot and killed Jimenez after an argument outside the Heritage Hotel where they lived.
“I looked down at Dylan and he smiled at me,” she said. “I told him, ‘please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. I love you.’ I could see the life coming out of him. He was dying.”
Deputies arrived shortly after and things went from bad to worse.
With the alleged gunman still at large, Richardson kept his gun in hand as responders tended to his brother. A representative of the family said he was being threatened by others on the scene and kept the gun to protect himself and his family.
“I think Bryan was very scared. Very nervous,” Blaker said.
After someone pointed out Richardson’s gun, deputies tried to disarm him. They yelled for him to drop the weapon. In a four-second sequence, Richardson was shot and killed by a deputy.
Family attorney, Mark NeJame, says he believes the shooting was not justified.
“The deputy would have not shot the second brother, who was really there simply protecting himself and his family because he saw his brother just get gunned down,” NeJame said.
WESH 2 News showed the video to a use-of-force expert, John Gaspar.
“It’s tragic. I’m glad I wasn’t put in this situation. Alright? I’m glad I wasn’t,” Gaspar said.
Gaspar, a retired NYPD detective, says while this shooting was tragic, he believes the deputies had no choice.
“That's a fraction of a second it would take for the officer to be taken down,” he said.
Gaspar says he feels three things could come into play in the ongoing Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement investigation: the deputy’s lack of a chance to find cover in the seconds-long interaction; having the original shooting victim, Jimenez, still nearby; and the other innocent bystanders standing nearby in an uncontained area.
“It’s a bad, perfect storm that created the death of somebody that was innocent but did all the things that created the use of deadly physical force,” he said.
Blaker said she doesn’t see this as a “perfect storm” at all. She said the video alone shows four seconds which simply was not enough time for her son to react safely and he didn’t have time to put the weapon down nor drop it to the ground in a safe manner.
“If somebody yells at you, somebody is pointing a gun, wouldn’t you actually look first and see if someone is actually pointing a gun? Why would you just start firing?” Blaker said. “I don’t want another grieving mother. I don’t want someone else having to feel what I feel every single day, or having to deal with the pain I physically have and how much I hurt and how much I miss my boys every single day for the rest of my life.”
Villaverde, for now, is only charged with second-degree murder in Jimenez’s death.
The FDLE said it is continuing its investigation into the shooting of Richardson.
The family has notified the Orange County Sheriff’s Office of plans to file a lawsuit, as well as Heritage Hotel, for lack of safety measures regarding Villaverde, who they say has previously trespassed on the premises.