A man in Texas killed his estranged wife in front of their three children on Friday before turning the gun on himself, police say.
It was just after 5:30 a.m. when police in Austin were called to the parking lot of a
There, police discovered Veneranda Martinez-Gutierrez, 36, in the driver’s seat of her car with a number of gunshot wounds and her estranged common law husband Florencio Felix Barron, 43, in front of the car, Gerrish said. Both were dead.
Witnesses told officials that Barron ran up to the car while Martinez-Gutierrez was parked, said something to her, then fired several shots before walking to the front of the car and shooting himself, police say.
The couple’s three children — ages 10 to 13 — were also in the car, according to officials, with two sitting in the backseat and one in the front. None of the children were injured and they’ve since been placed with family members.
“I believe that she probably tried to shield them,” Gerrish said.
Martinez-Gutierrez — who often sold tamales in the gas station parking lot — had broken up with Barron several months prior, police say. Investigators have not determined a motive but believe either jealousy or custody was a factor.
Gerrish called the incident “heartbreaking.”sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
“Any time you have children that are exposed to domestic violence, especially something as tragic as this, it’s heartbreaking. I mean, both of their parents are gone,” she said during the news conference.
Previously, Barron was convicted of child abuse and deported before returning to Austin illegally, police say.
Later in the day, Christopher Douglas Kempf, 57, was also arrested in connection with the incident after police say he confessed to taking the gun from the scene before police arrived, KVUE reported. He told police it was stupid, and he had plans to sell it.
Kempf had been issued a trespassing citation at an area supermarket when an officer noticed he matched the description of a man seen on surveillance video approaching Barron’s body at the gas station, according to the outlet. As the officer put Kempf in handcuffs Kempf told the officer he had the “gun that that guy shot himself with,” according to KVUE. Officials found the gun in his pocket which police say had one round inside.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence with intent to impair, according to jail records. His bail is set at $20,000.
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