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Gunman whose bullet critically injured 3-year-old girl sent to prison

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The incident erupted over a car parked in a handicapped parking space. It had no placard. The car's rear license plate, in fact, was obscured by a paper sign, according to police. 

credit: Denver Police Department

The car's driver, Guadalupe Villanueva, emerged from one of the stores in the small strip mall at 2969 South Federal Boulevard in Denver.  

credit: Denver Police Department

As shown in an image captured by surveillance video cameras, he was dressed in red pajamas and a black hoodie. And a mask. 

He also had a handgun. 

Villanueva fired several rounds at the man taking pictures of his haphazardly parked Subaru. 

The man was hit.

So, however, was a 3-year-old sitting in her car seat in a nearby vehicle. She was critically injured. 

While her family has requested anonymity since the Dec. 28, 2020 incident, a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office confirmed the girl suffered a traumatic brain injury from the shooting. But the girl has since progressed in her recovery. She has returned to school and is attempting to make up for missed time and catch up with her classmates.

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Immediately after the shooting, Villanueva and an accomplice fled the area. He and Amaya Wild were caught by Border Patrol agents in El Paso almost a month later as the pair tried to re-enter the U.S. from Mexico. 

Guadalupe Villanueva and Amaya Wild after their arrests in January 2021. credit: Denver District Attorney's Office

Villanueva was charged with attempted murder. He reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to felony assault with a weapon. On July 8, he was sentenced to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. 

Wild, initially charged as an accessory to a felony crime, also made a deal with prosecutors. She was sentenced Thursday to two years probation on a single misdemeanor. 

Villanueva was 19 years old at the time of the shooting. Wild was 18. 

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