MERIDIAN -- A Meridian woman who was gunned down last year by a man who went on to shoot two Boise Police officers and a police dog died Thursday.
Melinda Marie Salas was 29.
Salas was paralyzed in November when 33-year-old Marco Romero of Nampa opened fire during a party inside a Meridian apartment. The bullet tore through both her lungs and severed her spine. Another man inside the apartment was hit twice in the legs.
In an interview with KTVB a month after the unprovoked shooting, Salas recounted the moment Romero - her friend - pulled the trigger.
"When I looked at him I didn't see Marcos, I saw something so evil in his eyes," said Salas. "He gave me a second to look at him and he just shot me. I couldn't believe I was shot."
Romero fled the apartment, carjacking an elderly woman and spending three days on the run before Boise Police tracked him to the Central Rim neighborhood on the Boise Bench. Members of the Special Operations Unit was conducting a yard-to-yard search for the fugitive when they came upon Romero hiding behind trash cans outside a home.
Romero shot Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry and Cpl. Chris Davis before being killed by gunfire. Boise Police K9 Jardo was also shot, and later died of his injuries.
Like Salas, Holtry was paralyzed in the shooting, and his left leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Salas spent a month in the hospital recovering from her injuries. Adjusting to life in a wheelchair after her discharge wasn't easy, she said. Medical bills threatened to swamp her. The physical pain was unabating. Simple tasks - getting to the door, taking a shower - seemed a thousand times harder.
"I've lost everything," she said. "I'm helpless, I'm so lost."
Salas was pronounced dead at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center at 2:04 p.m. Thursday.
It's unclear whether Salas' death was the result of her injury. The Ada County Coroner's Office say her cause and manner of death are pending toxicology results, which often take several weeks to complete.
Before her death, Salas said she had forgiven the man who shot her.
"I don't know what was in his head, I don't know what he was thinking," she said. "What's done is done, and there's nothing to do but to move on from here and try to make things better."
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