The daughter of a woman who was shot and nearly killed in October by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy she had previously dated spoke out about her mother’s recovery for the first time this week, according to The Daily Mail.
Aryana Baluja, 18, told the online newspaper that her mother, 41-year-old Yuly Solano, was shot four times in her right arm and her right lung by deputy Michael DeMarco and taken to Delray Medical Center. Because of that, three of her ribs were broken and parts of her lung had to be removed, she told The Daily Mail. She said her mother’s arm and vocal cords also are paralyzed, the latter issue making it hard for her to talk. But, she said her mother is now walking around the hospital, a hopeful sign in her recovery.
“She’s fighting,” she told The Daily Mail website. “She’s continuing to stay positive.”
Solano was walking her dog Oct. 12 in the Inlet Harbor Club condominium complex where she lives when DeMarco pulled up in his unmarked patrol car in full uniform and started an argument. DeMarco eventually shot Solano several times and then shot and killed himself, according to Boynton Beach police.
Baluja also set up a GoFundMe account to help offset medical costs for her mother while she continues her college classes.
“She was shot four times and has survived!” Baluja wrote on the donation page, where her name is listed as Aryana Solano. “She is a miracle of God! She is my angel.”
Police had said DeMarco, 55, and Solano broke up about three weeks ago. A neighbor told The Palm Beach Post that the pair had been a couple for about seven months.
Baluja told The Daily Mail that DeMarco was first introduced to them at the complex. Solano and DeMarco both had dogs, so it started off as just walking their pets around and led to a relationship, Baluja said. But she said early on in their relationship, DeMarco was controlling and accused Solano of cheating. She said her mother broke up with DeMarco because she was scared of him.
The interview comes after Solano’s lawyer, Gary Iscoe, filed a lawsuit against the Inlet Harbor Club condominium association. It claims Solano had made a “formal complaint” to the association and to the site’s property-management company, but neither the sheriff’s office nor Boynton Beach police had any record of complaints.
Iscoe wrote DeMarco was “threatening and terrorizing” Solano, as well as citing instances of “vandalism and violence toward her.”
In a 911 call from the day of the shooting, a witness called to say a sheriff’s deputy shot Solano and then shot himself.
“I just seen a sheriff that works here walk up to this girl, they used to date, and just shot her, and then I heard gun shots and he shot himself and his car door’s open,” a caller to the 911 line initially says.
The dispatcher asked for clarification: “A sheriff?”
DeMarco spent more than two decades with the sheriff’s office and had consistently high marks on evaluations. To date, the sheriff’s office has not commented either on the deputy or the shooting.