An Olympian Says She 'Really Can't Compete' After A Stray Bullet Hit & Killed Her Mom
"You didn't deserve even a little bit of what happened to you."
The 56-year-old mother of A Puerto Rican Olympian was accidentally shot to death in the U.S. over the weekend, and police are on the hunt for the suspect.
Mabel Martinez was sewing in her Connecticut home on Saturday when she was fatally struck by a bullet. Police believe she was just a bystander and that the bullet was actually intended for a man outside her home, reports NBC News.
She was the mother of Yarimar Mercado Martinez, a Puerto Rican rifle shooter who competed in the 2016 Rio and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The devastated Olympian took to Instagram with a heartbreaking post about the incident. She even went so far as to apologize for bowing out of a competition due to her grief.
"I apologize to Puerto Rico because even if I wanted to, I really can't compete, my place is with my family, and I can't wait to get there and be with them," wrote Mercado.
She shared a series of pictures and videos of her mom, followed by an emotional caption remembering her as "the best grandmother [...], the best mother and the best wife."
"Mommy... I missed many things to learn from you; you didn't deserve even a little bit what happened to you," she wrote in the post, per a translation.
"I would really give anything to change places with you and for everything to happen to me and not to you."
In the caption, the athlete recalled a phone call she had with her mother two days prior, in which they discussed setting a date and preparing for a ceremony to renew the wedding vows between her mom and dad in their native Puerto Rico.
Mercado added that she'll be stepping back from competition to be with her family.
She ended the caption by saying, "We were blessed to have you. Thank you for everything you taught me. I love you with every bit of my being. Love lots, and cherish the time."
Police say the suspected intended target of the shooting suffered a leg wound in the attack and is expected to survive.
Waterbury Police were still looking for the suspect on Wednesday afternoon.