Loved ones ask 'why her?' after young Phoenix mother was killed by stray bullet

Phoenix Police are investigating after a woman was shot outside of a Chevron gas station near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.

A family is now in mourning.

Officers responded to the area on a shooting call at 1 a.m. on April 25 and found 20-year-old Gloria Zermeno laying in the parking lot of Funny Farm Lounge, suffering from gunshot injuries.

Zermeno died before she could be transported to an area hospital.

"During the investigation, detectives learned the victim had been randomly shot when a group of people were fighting," said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune.

Homicide detectives collected forensic evidence, witness testimony and videos which helped develop probable cause to arrest 37-year-old Vincente Diaz-Vargas.

Surveillance video helped detectives identify the car registered to Diaz-Vargas. Police say a search warrant at his home revealed handguns and rifles.

Police say he admitted to firing his gun at a group of people because he was upset.

Diaz-Vargas was booked into jail. He is accused of first-degree murder and his bond is set at a million dollars.

'She was a wonderful person a beautiful soul'

"That Saturday night she was there talking to me like she never did. She was talking to me about all those things she wanted to do. That she wanted to do a lot of things for her daughter to see who she really was," says her mother Maria Zermeno standing at a memorial site on Monday where her daughter was killed.

Her daughter didn't go out too often, but on Saturday she did.

"She just told me, 'Mom, do I look pretty?' in the clothes that she was wearing, and I told her, 'Yeah, you always do,'" her mother recalled.

Her best friend, Aniya Nunez, fights back tears, saying, "She was a wonderful person. A beautiful soul. She was always there for me. Never let me down."

"I could honestly say she's the best mom in the world," Nunez added.

Her loved ones want justice.

"I just hope they give him life honestly. I just hope he never sees the outside ever again," Nunez says.

Maria says Zermeno planned to get her own apartment to make a home for her and her daughter. She was supposed to turn 21 in May her mother said, adding, she still had so much more life to live.

"Why did he kill her? Why her? He wasn't supposed to kill her like that. She still had a long life to live," Zermeno's mother said.

Donate to the family's GoFundMe here:

Gloria Zermeno. Photo courtesy of Zermeno family

Gloria Zermeno. Photo courtesy of Zermeno family

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