Valley toddler battling kidney cancer, shot while leaving grocer - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley toddler battling kidney cancer, shot while leaving grocery store

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A Las Vegas three-year-old battling cancer was shot while leaving a grocery store with her family in Utah. A Las Vegas three-year-old battling cancer was shot while leaving a grocery store with her family in Utah.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A Las Vegas three-year-old battling cancer was shot while leaving a grocery store with her family in Utah.

Esmeralda Padilla was hit in the stomach and leg by a bullet Wednesday. She and her family have been in Salt Lake City for her kidney cancer treatment. 

Esmeralda only has half a kidney, because the other had to be removed. Her family said they're hoping they can get the necessary money to get her a kidney transplant. 

"We need that kidney transplant, that's why we're here," her dad Hugo Padilla said. 

Wednesday, while the Padilla's were on their way to take Esmeralda to the hospital, they stopped at a Smith's grocery store to stock up on some food. 

"When we heard the shots, then my daughter started crying," Hugo said. "She was bleeding from her tummy."

Police said 36-year-old Rufino Joseph Cervantez fired his gun and three people were hit including Esmeralda and her mom. Employees from the Smith's tried to chase Cervantez down on foot. 

Police in West Valley City arrested Cervantez hours after the shooting, finding him at apartments nearby.

He was being held Thursday in the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and gun charges.

RELATED: Police arrest man in Utah store shooting that injured 3

"We are coming from Vegas to Salt Lake to save [Esmeralda's] life, and then this happened."

The family said Esmeralda and her mother are doing ok. They were both treated for their gunshot wounds and released a few hours later. Hugo said he is frustrated with God because God is putting too much stress on him and his family. 

"When we were driving from Las Vegas to Salt Lake, we got in a big accident. Our truck was totaled, and now we don't have a car. Then this happened," he said. 

For now he said he's focusing on the fact that no one was seriously hurt, and he realizes how easily he could have lost his daughter and his wife. He said they will keep taking it day-by-day until they can come home to Vegas. 

The family said the surgery for Esmeralda will cost about $250,000. Insurance will cover two-thirds, but the Padillas said they still need to come up with about $70,000. They have created a gofundme

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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