Woman Who Shot Ex Husband in Costco Parking Lot Speaks Out

The transgender San Jose woman who’s in jail for allegedly shooting her ex-partner in a Costco parking lot said that she did it after years of fear and frustration, and that she hadn’t been trying to kill him.

“I shot my husband,” said Nori Tejero, 44, in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. “He was my partner of 24 years, and there were multiple reasons why I shot him.”

Mostly, though, “I shot him to let him know he was not going to be the one to put a bullet in my head,” she added.

Nori Tejeda. (Photo via Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office)

Nori Tejero.

Tejero, who used to work for the Billy DeFrank LGBT Center, been charged with assault with a firearm in the July 5 incident, which left the victim with a non-lethal gunshot wound to the leg.

In an interview last week at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, she said that she’d threatened to leave the victim multiple times, but he’d told her he’d shoot her if she did.

Tejero said she finally left, but she eventually returned and shot him at the South San Jose Costco where he worked after he failed to return some of her belongings.

The victim told police that Tejero had been upset about his new girlfriend and angry that he wanted her to come get her things, according to court records. Both Tejero and the victim told police that they hadn’t been married.

Tejero, who cried while speaking with the B.A.R., said that after fights they had over the years, when she talked about leaving him, “he told me he would put a bullet in my head if I did that.”

She also said, “He didn’t beat me, but there were many instances of rape and sexual assault,” and he was “very degrading” toward her. She didn’t want to discuss details of the rapes, and she said she didn’t tell police about them until after her arrest.

Court records say that Tejero told police at the time of her arrest that in 2015, the victim had “pointed a gun at her and told her that he would kill her if she ever left him. This incident was not reported before today.”

An officer also reported that Tejero said the victim had been “verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive toward her.”

‘Nothing but the clothes on my back’

The victim had acquired “about a dozen” guns over the years, Tejero said. They’d gone shooting together, and guns played “a prominent role in both our lives.”

She said she’d tried to leave him four times, but he’d come after her at least once.

Finally, in February, she said, she fled with “nothing but the clothes on my back” to the Stockton area. She eventually returned, and she and her ex started talking about when she’d be able to get her things, which included jewelry, a childhood teddy bear, and woodworking tools.

At first, she said, “We had met amicably,” and she got some of her things back, but after not hearing from him for several days, he told her things had been thrown out. He soon told her he hadn’t really thrown away her possessions, but she said she was “mad” because he was playing the same games he had in the past.

She said when she went to Costco that Wednesday, she mostly wanted “to let him know that I could not be played with like that anymore.”

According to court records, Tejero took her roommate’s vehicle and his Taurus .357 revolver without his knowledge and waited in the Costco lot until her ex was leaving work at about 12:30 p.m.

She told police that “she asked the victim why he was treating her so badly and they began to argue,” the records say. “The suspect stated that the victim began to yell at her,” and she pulled out her gun.

Tejero also told police that “she initially had pointed the gun at the victim’s ‘nuts’ ... but then she felt bad” so she shot him in the leg instead.

At first, she told police, “the victim just stood there,” but then he ran and she chased him for about four parking spaces before she stopped, according to court records.

The victim reported that when he saw Tejero in the parking lot, “She asked him why he was avoiding her. He told her he had been on vacation. She said, you were with her weren’t you. He said he was,” and Tejero shot him. As he ran from Tejero back into Costco, the victim said, he’d yelled for co-workers to call police.

He told police that Tejero had been “upset because of their relationship ending and he has a new girlfriend,” the records say, and she’d recently sent him emails “in which she was angry because he wanted her to come get her property.”

The victim said Tejero had “told him if he discarded her property she would kill him.”

A witness told police that just after the shooting, Tejero asked the witness “if she should leave, and he told her to stay." The man asked her for the gun and she gave it to him.

Court records say the victim’s brother told police that Tejero had emailed her ex in late June “threatening to shoot him if he did not come back to her. The suspect said, ‘I want you back, you need to come back to me.’”

Asked about the email, Tejero told the B.A.R., “I do remember sending him something about him begging for his life like I had begged him to treat me like a human being.”

Tejero, who said she still loves the victim, is being held on $175,000 bail. She’s expected to enter a plea July 31.

Deputy Public Defender Dennis Dawson said that he didn’t have any information related to Tejero’s allegation that her ex had raped her, and he said he didn’t want to discuss details of the case.

“I’d rather have this argued out and litigated in court,” he said.

This article was originally published July 20, 2017, in the Bay Area Reporter.  

25 Comments

  1. So nutters. Wouldn’t matter if they were cisgendered, it’s nutty for any sexual orientation to do this. Guy was at work, Terejo wasn’t in any immediate danger. 911 exists for a reason.

  2. Nori truly is a beautiful person with a caring heart that helped many poor and vulnerable women in Silicon Valley for many years. It is sad that she did this because she has such a strong love for her Ex she shot in the leg. I hope she will gain the love for herself she has selflessly given to so many others – If she achieves that, she’ll learn she deserves much better and can find a better boyfriend or husband when she gets back to the free world. Stay strong Nori <3

    • > It is sad that she did this because she has such a strong love for her Ex she shot in the leg.

      Seems you have more first hand knowledge of Nori. I would be critical of anyone, family included if they did something this messed up. That costco is always packed from opening to close. What if she missed? Hit a kid? What if the kid lived but with a permanent injury? Severed spinal column?

      This isn’t love… Love is something completely different from this. Love is sacrifice, love is setting someone free after they leave you, love is nurturing. Not a gunshot to the leg. This wasn’t self defense as Nori tried to frame it. This is obsessive stalking, and you should be straight with your friend about it. Not just for her benefit, but societies safety as well.

      • Very well put comment, thank you. I agree with what you said.

        She made several mistakes in my humble opinion by staying committed steadfast for so long to an unhealthy relationship with this tragic and reckless conclusion.

        That said I mostly wanted to state that I won’t “throw her under the bus” as irredeemable or some kind of completely troubled monster that will always be a danger to society, because my and many others’ experiences firsthand with her definitely give us a much more promising and positive picture of her being a hardworkwing positive contribution to society after she serves her sentence if she keeps herself healthy in mind, body, and spirit. I wanted to show her that work in the community was not taken for granted and try to give her a little morale boost to stay positive during her possibly long prison sentence if she or someone closer to her reads this or passes it on to her.

      • RMC, Well said. A .357 bullet can penetrate cinderblock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acAKTglhgzY Ricochets can be fatal (Chino Hills gun range in January). Over penetration (bullet isn’t stopped by flesh, walls, cars, etc.) is a real risk for almost any caliber. Police use hollow point ammo to reduce it.

        Responsible gun owners cringe when these types of incidents occur. The ‘Tranny Get Your Gun’ self-justification is irrelevant. Every gun owner I know supports the maximum sentence.

        • Taxpayer, do you and “all gun owners” you know support maximum sentences for law enforcement officers whom kill innocent unarmed civilians like the recent murder of the Australian woman in Minneapolis?

          What kind of sentencing do you all support for the officers in charge of the police failure at the pulse night club in Orlando? I would recommend 25 to 50 years for assistance of mass murder for the 1 or 2 officers in charge of that policing failure that could have easily saved at least half of the lives inside if they didn’t stand around outside the club for 3 hours while 1 shooter with a semi-auto slowly and deliberately kills and kills and kills….

          • April, I can only speak for myself on the Minneapolis matter that’s still under investigation. Short answer: Yes. I support the maximum penalty for the officer if found guilty. Note the homicide appears negligent and probably a violation of training – not premeditated like the Terejo shooting.

            Police have no duty to respond to crime per the US Supreme Court. Orlando cops waited 3 hours before entering Pulse. The May 28th 2017 DOJ funded Police Foundation report says, “the police responding to the [Pulse] attack followed protocols and best practice for hostage situations”. AFAIK, the final DOJ report has not yet been issued.

            Patrons are prohibited from carrying guns into FL business that derive 51% or more of profits from alcohol sales; Pulse patrons were prohibited of defending themselves. Active shooters typically choose targets like Pulse, Aurora, Sandy Hook, etc. where they’re unlikely to meet armed resistance because firearms are prohibited. FBI stats say about 13% are stopped by unarmed patrons that overpower the shooter. Sadly not at Pulse and orthogonal to the Terejo shooting.

          • What killed that poor woman in Minneapolis was not the dark heart of a murderer or even the unintentional act of a person engaged in a criminal act, so exactly what is the motivation for people, like April M, to react to the tragedy as if was the work of an antisocial monster? Is it just mindless hysteria, hatred for the police, or a politicized reflection of their own misery?

            Based on what little has been released by Minneapolis PD the shooting appears to be unjustified, an intentional or reflexive act of gross incompetence, for which the young officer must be held accountable — with significant consideration given the course of events that put him in a situation so obviously over his head. In other words, was this an unpredictable error, a plausible outcome of the hiring and training standards having been directly or indirectly relaxed, or a combination of the two?

            If this turns out to be a case of Minneapolis putting an unstable incompetent on the beat because he filled somebody’s agenda, it then becomes necessary to ask if those responsible, be it the chief, the mayor, or some politically-correct ladder-climber, shouldn’t also be looking at jail time? I ask that you consider this: if this officer was identifiably less than competent, then of all the people involved in his hire, he is almost certainly the only one who didn’t know it. And if it was incompetence that pulled the trigger and killed that woman, then the authorities who armed that incompetence with deadly force and put it on the street deserve to be treated like criminals.

          • Frustrated Finfan: Sorry, I was wrong to call the death of Justine Damond in Minneapolis a murder as I sometimes incorrectly call any killing of a human by another a murder. I have no hysterical hatred for police or any member of criminal justice and intelligence agencies, even if some were to occasionally harass or taunt me while off-duty or undercover.

            Despite lots of right-wing parroting of skewed and overblown reports of anti-police hysteria and hate (likely originating from a few deceptive and cunning heads of the FOP and their respective thinktank), I highly doubt that actual police hatred and violence against police officers is significantly higher than it was or has been since the rise of modern drug-dealing gangs in the US in the 80s and 90s.

            Now, I will not refute that it IS very easy to find all over the internet, hate speech, many times violent hate speech, directed towards almost any group imaginable – including law enforcement personnel. The people whom write the disgusting threats most of us would never have heard from were it not for the anonymity and ease of moving about the internet. Much of the worst anti-police hate speech and threats on the internet may very well be written by rapists, killers, and drug dealers whom see any organ of the law as adversarial because they don’t want to be caught and punished for their heinous crimes. Also, they feel emboldened by their perceived safety and anonymity over the internet.

            Back to most of your response Frustrated, I think you made excellent points mostly and agree with your analysis and recommendations based upon what the evidence ends up pointing to as most responsible for Justine’s death.

            Taxpayer: If indeed the US Supreme Court has ruled police have no duty to respond to crime, can you please share us a link to that ruling/case? If that’s true, that makes their sworn duties, um, voluntary – if say the Lt, Captain, or Sergeant in charge of the group decides not to respond to ongoing crime like 1 active homicidal shooter? If this is true – then it is highly unlikely if the same exact scenario that happened at Pulse (Latino LGBT crowd that night) was occurring at a bar or club that was often frequented by the local police department – that the decision and orders to wait outside 3 hours would have been followed by every single officer at the scene. To be honest, if the police officers outside Pulse were instead outside of a large bar, club, or restaurant they believed may have several or many LEOs (law enforcement officers) or politicians, or DAs inside – I believe at least a handful of officers would have tried something more heroic than following the “protocols and best practice for hostage situations” for 3 hours as happened at Pulse.

          • April, In 2005 the Supreme Court (Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278) ruled that police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm. Google the case – it’s particularly wrenching.

            Closer to home, plaintiffs lost the claim against SJPD’s failure to protect Trump rally attendees attacked in June, 2106 on that basis too. Ample case law before the 2005 decision such as aftermath of Rodney King riots 25 years ago.

            Bottom line: Those at risk of violence (domestic, hate crime, etc.) should not rely on PD or restraining orders for protection. If you need a RO, then learn to shoot and get a gun too.

            “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away” or 3 hours in the case of Pulse.

  3. Lots of troubled people in the world…. This sort of gun violence is really out of character for most biological women. Perhaps an increase in estrogen treatments is in order? Just a thought….

    • Jaydub, Source of your claim? CDC data shows most gun aggression is perpetrated by males. Should they take estrogen too?

      Agree with RMC’s observation + Terejo “borrowed” (stole?) roommate’s car & gun to confront victim. Will be interesting to see if her sentence is closer to that of killing cats (16 years) or inconsequential affluenza-type sentencing like Brock Tuner’s.

  4. Ok, I’m a little confused; not unlike the perpetrator here; but in a different way.

    Mentally ill people are not legally permitted to own firearms.

    While the act of shooting someone doesn’t speak well of one’s sanity; self-mutilation would also be a strong indication of mental illness. (Since she’s in the women’s jail, I’m assuming the perpetrator here is post-operative transgendered and that the “offending appendage” has been cut off).

    Who sold or loaned this mentally ill person a gun and what responsibility do they bear? Isn’t it a crime to give a gun to someone that one knows, or reasonably should know, has demonstrated obvious mental illness by mutilating themselves?

    People are born gay and that is the normal state of things for them. However, if the only way a man who wants to date other men can see his way clear to do so is by self-mutilation, why isn’t a doctor monitoring this person as would be the case with any other chronically mentally ill person?

    • JSR, From the SJI/BAR report, Terejo says she “borrowed” her roommate’s car and .357. No indication if done with owner’s consent. Loaning a firearm to anyone (with a few narrow exceptions) is illegal in CA. If consensual, then her roommate is also facing serious consequences.

      My understanding is that Terejo has at least one prior felony conviction. If accurate, Terejo is prohibited for life from owning or possessing a firearm – not just in CA, but the US.

      I hope that incarceration results in rehabilitation, but that did not seem to occur with Terejo’s.

      Trans persons are much more likely to suffer hate-crime violence than lesbians and gays. Many CA counties issue concealed carry permits for that reason – but not Santa Clara County’s sheriff. Yet another reason to dump Laurie Smith.

    • J.S. : You are either very ignorant and afraid of transgender people or just a troll trying to upset some people like that exhibitionist clown, Milo (formerly of Breitbart news). Many transgendered people, like all people, are homosexuals and bisexuals. Most transgendered people are not post-operative; that means that most trans women and girls that are attracted to and/or date men have not “self-mutilated” themselves before dating men as you foolishly believe or pretend to believe for attention.

      Most people would have called you crazy just 70 years ago for saying people are born gay. Many openly gay people continued to be instituted as mentally ill and tortured in institutions still in the 1950s. You are a total entitled clown if you are a smug middle class or wealthier gay man born to feel entitled and accepted with no clue how much trans people helped gay people win more acceptance during the early years of the fight for Gay Civil Rights.

      • April M,

        Let’s try to stay on the roadway of the discussion and not go off into the weeds of opprobrium. Not everyone who has a difference of opinion regarding the “transgenederized” is, as you suggested, some sort of smug, entitled, wealthy gay clown troll.

        I only thought that a (pre-operative, non-transgenderized) male who likes to dress like a woman was a drag queen or a transvestite (or such are those most common of my association). I thought the “trans-line” was crossed on the surgical table. My mistake. Forgive me. This has just been my experience with the matter.
        Surgery cannot make a man into a woman or vice versa, it is biologically impossible.

        As to your comment regarding the transgenderized (or the pre-operative drag queens) somehow helping the gay community win acceptance; I think you have that backwards. Homosexuality has been documented, discussed, in some cultures even celebrated (Ancient Greece comes to mind; Homer; Alexander the Great; Richard the Lion-hearted, etc); while transgenderization is a relatively recent phenomenon.

        In any event, anyone who chooses to cut off pieces of themselves because they are somehow not able to accept being attracted to members of their same biological gender is strange in the extreme. I was under the impression that such persons are under some sort of regular psychological monitoring but apparently, since this person was able to get or borrow or obtain a gun somehow, it seems someone dropped the ball somewhere.

        Attention transgenders; it’s Ok to be gay. You don’t need to cut off pieces of yourself to avoid admitting same sex attraction and, Newsflash, shooting someone is not an effective way to deal with a break-up.

    • JSR, Mentally ill people do have access to guns – just look at the recent officer involved shooting cases in SJ and elsewhere. Almost every shooter is described as “mentally ill”, yet many manage to legally possess guns. A restraining order did not stop the Willow Glen double homicide that occurred after a RO was granted (and a Gun Violence Restraining Order available). Nothing in the exhaustive DA’s report on SJPD officer Michael Johnson’s murder indicated that Kaiser notified authorities (as required), despite prescribing a witches brew of psych meds to Johnson’s killer.

      SCC jails have become psych wards and house “over 100 severely mentally ill” (MN 4/11/17), yet I’m unable to locate *ANY* records that our mentally ill are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. Authorities don’t routinely seek a prohibition via the FBI’s NCIC system. Some may make it onto the prohibited list as a result of criminal activities, but most don’t. I believe Terejo has a felony conviction and therefore prohibited from buying or possessing a gun via NCIC. But that didn’t stop her from “borrowing” one. Many trans engage in prostitution and drug trade according to trans advocacy groups. She probably could have bought a stolen gun for a few hundred via her connections had she desired.

  5. With out looking at her picture I wouldn’t have had a clue she is nuts! But then again I have known 3 or4 of them.

  6. Even though physiologists and science have proven beyond all doubt that I am right-handed, all my life I have felt like a left-handed person. I’ve tried to throw a ball left-handed; to eat left-handed; to write left-handed; but those un-accepting school teachers have forced me to do all those things with my provably, biologically dominant right hand. I’ve had enough! I am going to chop off my right arm and live life the way I feel I was always meant to be, as a left-handed person!

    • My suspicions you might lean a little to the Left were apparently justified, but I never pegged you for being transhanded.

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