Denny's hosts fundraiser, festival for shooting victim - FOX Carolina 21

Denny's hosts fundraiser, festival for shooting victim

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Investigators mill about the scene of a shooting a restaurant in Spartanburg County. (May 29, 2012/FOX Carolina) Investigators mill about the scene of a shooting a restaurant in Spartanburg County. (May 29, 2012/FOX Carolina)
Deputies released these undated pictures of Marcelino Rivarra. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office) Deputies released these undated pictures of Marcelino Rivarra. (Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)
BOILING SPRINGS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Denny's is hosting a festival Saturday to raise money for a woman who was shot by her estranged husband at the Boiling Springs restaurant nearly two months ago.

On May 29, Carmela Rivera was shot by her estranged husband, 49-year-old Marcelino Rivarra, while she was working at the Denny's, deputies said.

Rivarra is still wanted in connection with the shooting, according to Spartanburg County deputies.

Denny's is hosting the event to help raise money for Rivera's family, to help pay her mounting medical bills.

Rivera is an uninsured mother of three and unable to work because of her long-term injuries, according to Denny's officials. Her Denny's family hopes the public will join them in raising funds to help Rivera.

The event is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Denny's at 115 Sloan Garden Rd. in Boiling Springs.

The event will feature live entertainment from five Upstate bands, a bounce house, face painting, magic shows, live raffles and refreshments. The Blood Connection will have a blood drive from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

All of the proceeds from the sale of activity and raffle tickets will go to a fund established for Rivera and her family. Denny's will also donate a portion of its sales during the event to Rivera.

Deputies said Rivarra fled the scene in a 1996 black Acura with a South Carolina tag number GLP-376.

Deputies continue to search for Rivarra and said he is believed to still be in the Upstate or western North Carolina. They said he is armed with a handgun and is considered dangerous.

Rivera was transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds to her head and shoulder. The restaurant's manager saw Rivera running across the parking lot and her husband running behind her then saw Rivarra shoot Rivera twice, deputies said.

Deputies said no other employees or customers were injured during the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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