Family: Man shot while trying to stop theft of mother's purse

Family: Man shot while trying to stop theft of mother's purse
Juan Zuniga (Source: GoFundMe)
Juan Zuniga (Source: GoFundMe)
Shreveport police say a man was shot outside El Compadre Mexican Restaurant & Seafood in the 500 block of East Kings Highway the night of July 30. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Shreveport police say a man was shot outside El Compadre Mexican Restaurant & Seafood in the 500 block of East Kings Highway the night of July 30. (Source: KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A man is fighting for his life after being shot while trying to recover his mother's stolen purse, his family says.

The shooting happened just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday outside El Compadre Mexican Restaurant & Seafood in the 500 block of East Kings Highway in Shreveport, police said.

A Facebook post by Juan Zuniga's sister Gemma Zuniga says he was shot twice in the chest when he confronted two men who tried to steal their mother's purse.

Doctors at University Health had to remove his right lung, his sister posted. Now he is on a lung and heart bypass machine.

Dozens of family members, friends and customers gathered for a prayer vigil Sunday evening in the restaurant parking lot.

"We come here twice a week. He greets us. He's like family. He's like family," Samantha Lee said.

"How does this happen? How does such a good, smart, loyal, hardworking young man end up almost losing his life over nothing? Over absolutely nothing?"

And donations are being made to two GoFundMe pages set up to help with Juan Zuniga's medical expenses.

One set up by Liz Mayo has surpassed its $20,000 goal. Within the first eight hours, 392 people had donated $21,715.

"This wonderful family has given us all so much. Their hospitality is second to none," the page's narrative says. "And over the last year, their troubles have been many (losing their husband/father, the never-ending road construction that's hurt their business and now this)."

She described the El Compadre family as the "foundation of what's good about Shreveport."

A GoFundMe page created by Rachel Webb Lomastro raised $11,265 toward its $15,000 goal within its first seven hours.

Juan Zuniga's Facebook page indicates he attended C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport and studied business at Louisiana Tech University.

Police have not yet released any further information about their investigation.

Authorities urge anyone with any information to contact Shreveport-Caddo Crime Stoppers by calling (318) 673-7373 or visiting the organization's website, lockemup.org.

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