'I felt him pass': VTA mass shooting widow describes husband's final moments

Luz Pena Image
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Widow says husband was 5 feet from escaping SJ mass shooting
Today we are learning more about the 9th victim of the VTA mass shooting, Alex Fritch. His widow spoke to ABC7 News about their last moments together.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Monday we learned more about the ninth victim of the VTA mass shooting, Alex Fritch.

His widow spoke to ABC7 News reporter Luz Pena about his dream to travel the world and their last moments together.

Opening the doors to her home and taking us to their sacred place, Terra Fritch showed us inside Alex's tiki bar.

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"He named it Fred and Ginger Exotic Rum and Cocktail Bar," said Terra Fritch.

For the last five days, Terra Fritch has spent her time inside the tiki bar, holding on to the last memories of her husband of 19 years.

"He put in every single nail, every single screw," said Terra and added, "This was his labor of love. This is where I feel the closest to him. I'm just so thankful that I have it because he really, really loved this bar."

In their sanctuary, everything remains untouched.

"Everything that Alex has touched right now it's so important to me," said Terra.

Terra and Alex shared a passion for rum and dirt bikes.

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The widow of San Jose shooting victim Lars Lane didn't give up hope that her husband of 22 years survived the deadly attack at the Valley Transit Authority railyard, until the very last second when she received the tragic news.

"When we met and I told him I ride dirt bikes he asked me, "Where do you ride?" she said.

"To test you?" Luz asked.

"Yes, to test, because depending on your answer it meant that you rode or you pretended that you rode," said Terra.

Wearing Alex's wedding band, Terra shared their last memory together as she laid next him in the hospital seconds before he passed.

"He moved his wrist and grabbed my hand," said Terra and added, "He had tears coming out of both of his eyes and I felt him pass. I literally felt it. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to be here with me."

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The "what if's" of that morning are keeping her awake at night, months earlier Alex had shared with his wife concerns about the suspect.

"He was off shift and he was taking in his hand radio. He was 5 feet away from the door. Away from this, and being home with me. That I think hurts more than anything. Because he was not supposed to be there. He got off at 6:30 a.m.," said Terra.

On Thursday their oldest son graduates high school, a week after Alex was killed. As he prepares to graduate, he's drafting letters for Governor Newsom and President Biden asking for change.

"How about you need to get a license to own a gun. How about you need to sign an agreement that you will do a psych evaluation every so many years," said Terra.

As they wait, they have the tiki bar with memories of Alex to hold on to. Terra looked up and saw "Chewy," the toy Alex use to hide for his friends to find. Today Terra was the one to find it.

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"Chewy is above the bar right now in the fish net," she said.

"Is that the last place where he hid it?" Luz asked.

"Yes, and I don't think it'll ever move," said Terra.

"We had a very special connection. I just want to be with him. I just want to be with him because he was my person," said Terra.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the mass shooting at the VTA rail yard in San Jose.