ATWATER -- Eight seconds.
That's all it took to completely change Joanna Ortiz's life.
On a cold December night, a gunman came up to Ortiz's husband, David, who was waiting for an order at Foster's Freeze in Atwater.
The gunman aimed at 33-year-old Ortiz and shot the Atwater resident in the head. He continued firing as Ortiz hit the ground.
Then the gunman got in a car and drove away. He had just shattered the life Joanna and David had built for themselves over the past 11 years.
On Tuesday, about 7:30 p.m., David Ortiz had taken some videos back to a store in Atwater. Before he left home, he asked his wife if she wanted anything. She said yes, a hot fudge sundae.
David laughed and told his wife it was too cold for a sundae. But he stopped at Foster's Freeze on Winton Way in Atwater to get that sundae for his wife.
He was shot about 8 p.m.
By 9 p.m. Joanna Ortiz knew something was wrong. He should've been back. He wasn't the kind of guy who stayed out.
"He didn't come home," Joanna Ortiz said. "I got the kids out of bed and went looking for him."
The married couple have three girls: Callie, 12, Alize, 11, and Deja, 8. With the girls in the car, Joanna searched for her husband.
She found his car at Foster's Freeze. Atwater Police Department cars were everywhere, emergency lights flashing blue and red. She saw her husband's car door open, and she began praying.
"I just kept saying, 'Jesus, please don't do this to me. Please don't do this to me,' " Joanna recalled.
The officers told Joanna that her husband had been shot, that he had been taken to a local hospital.
"It was the most awful thing that could ever happen," Joanna said. "He was my best friend, my soul mate, my everything."
What the police do know is this: Ortiz was standing outside Foster's Freeze, waiting for his order. A lone gunman came up to him and fired several shots. The gunman then left the scene in a red subcompact car and sped away on Mitchell Road.
As far as witnesses go, Echevarria agrees with Ortiz. There are still people who may have seen the murder who haven't come forward.
"Obviously, I can understand how people feel witnessing something like this," the detective said. "But we know there was a family that left just seconds after the shooting. They could maybe help our investigation."
If people talk to the police about what they saw, Echevarria said, it will all be confidential.
"We would love to talk to eyewitnesses," Echevarria said.
Read the full storyat the Modesto Bee.