Last August, 60 year old Karen Gonzales, an employee at Chiracahua National Monument, which is located in a very remote area of Arizona, east of Tucson, was doing her job, cleaning the female restroom, when she was set upon and viciously beaten by an illegal immigrant/drug trafficker. Gonzales put up one heck of a fight, even managing to get away from her attacker, 33 year old Gilbert Gaxiola, at one point.
Gonzales was beaten with a rock, the weapon Gaxiola chose to beat the woman old enough to be his mother with, and she still walks with a limp and has permanent injuries to her hands. “Maybe some of it was fending off the blows, I don’t know. But I know I hit him,” she said.
Gaxiola caught Gonzales and dragged her back into the women’s room and continued beating her before finally leaving her for dead and then stealing her truck and speeding away to Douglas, Arizona. He was captured and arrested the next day, with a full load of drugs for distribution.
Gonzales feels the only reason she survived is because she had some of her ancestors looking over her. She also credits friends and family for helping her get through her recovery.
According to Tucson media outlet KVOA, “Gilbert Gaxiola is charged with attempted first and second degree murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault kidnapping, and auto theft. He goes to trial this summer.”
One year before, a local rancher in the same area where Gonzales was beaten, a man named Rob Krentz, was gunned down and killed by illegal immigrants. Krentz’ family had been ranchers on the land since 1907. His family members said that in recent years the ranch had been plagued by illegal immigrants from Mexico and that they were causing major damage to the ranch’s infrastructure.