DENVER — When Joe Maldonado looks at pictures of his brother and his brother's wife, he sees pain.
"I see happiness and a bond that was torn apart," Joe said.
Jimmy Maldonado was shot Monday night at Sol Tribe Tattoo and Piercing Shop on South Broadway in Denver. Jimmy's wife, Alyssa Gunn Maldonado, died along with their best friend, Alicia Cardenas. They were the first victims in what turned into a killing spree leaving five people dead.
"He's very strong. He's very stubborn. But you know he's a fighter," Joe said.
He said his brother Jimmy is a jujitsu instructor who competes in tournaments in addition to working as a piercer at Sol Tribe.
Joe said his brother was shot once in the chest.
"It's a miracle that he is alive. There's nothing else you can say about it," Joe said. "Mentally, he's ready to get back and deal with losing his wife."
Joe said his brother is one of the most artistic people he knows.
"He loves reading. He loves art. I mean, he loves being involved in his culture," Joe said.
He said Jimmy also loves his wife of seven years, Alyssa.
"They were perfect for each other. I mean, they got each other. They brought the best out of each other," Joe said. "They were both very artistic. Tattoos, I mean, she loves tattoos. I couldn't tell you how many she had. I don't think she could tell you how many she had. Actually, I've asked her that."
Jimmy and Alyssa raised a 12-year-old boy together, a son from Jimmy's previous relationship.
"Today, it felt really felt like Alyssa's gone," Joe said.
He said family was important to Alyssa.
"Alyssa, all the time or any time that they spent together, I mean, it was time well spent," Joe said.
Time that is now lost and they will never get back.
"Just because it isn't going to be this way anymore," Joe said.
Joe and Jimmy are two of the youngest siblings in a family of 14 kids.
"We grew up in north Denver in a big house with a lot of kids, and there was always something to do," Joe said.
After Jimmy was shot, Joe said, two customers stayed with Jimmy and helped him escape the store after the shooting. He said Jimmy wants to find these two women and thank them for saving his life.
"They played a big part in him being here. He knows that," Joe said.
Joe said physically, his brother is able to move around his hospital room, but is a long way from recovery.
"He’s a strong person. I have no doubt that he’s gonna pull through this, that he’s gonna do it, and he’s got a lot to live for," Joe said.
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