KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A survivor of the Tequila KC shooting is recovering from his injury but is now facing a new health crisis.
Gustavo Lara was enjoying a night out when two men walked into the bar and opened fire. One has been arrested, but another still eludes authorities.
Lara’s family told FOX4 in an exclusive interview that it’s a miracle he survived, but his health crisis isn’t over.
He was shot in the shoulder in the mass shooting. Once doctors took a look at him, they found out he had a tumor.
“I want him well,” Lara’s daughter, Rebecca Mendez said.
Mendez said she’s grateful her father is alive.
“All I could tell him was he was lucky, real lucky,” Mendez said. “He could have been killed, and it’s just sad. It’s scary. I want him well.”
A bullet went through Lara’s shoulder in the Tequila KC shooting Oct. 6. Nine people were shot inside the bar, four of them died.
One of them was Everado “Ever” Meza. Lara said he was always a good kid who looked out for him. He said Meza’s father told him to treat him with the same respect he gave his father.
“Every time he would see me he’d go and shake my hand and say, ‘Do you need anything?” Lara said. “I’d say, ‘No I’m OK.'”
Lara said it hurts to think about the shooting and the loss that all the victims families are faced with. While he was recovering and mourning his friend, he got more bad news.
“They did a CAT scan, and when they did that, they found a mass, which was a tumor on his kidney,” Mendez said.
His daughter said the tumor is larger than his kidney and he’ll need to have surgery.
“He’s really, really lucky that he didn’t get killed by being shot,” Mendez said. “Either way, a couple inches to the right or left he could have been killed. But him being shot and being put in the hospital we were able to find that early enough to where it’s not spreading.”
The father of two, and grandfather of nine, doesn’t qualify for financial assistance. Mendez said they applied and were denied the help through Medicare.
Now the family is having to pull funds together.
“I don’t even know where we’re at,” Mendez said. “We haven’t received any bills yet.”
Mendez said the fact her dad survived the shooting — and will survive the tumor, too — shows someone is looking out for him.
“My dad is all I have,” Mendez said. “He takes care of my kids. He’s a kind-hearted person. He helps anybody when he can. I hate that he’s going through this, but we’ll get through it. Pray for my dad and his surgery. That’s all.”
The family said they are working to put money together for a down payment on his MRI. If you would like to help this family through this difficult financial time, you can find more information by visiting this website.