A Texas woman was on the phone with her mother when her husband allegedly fatally shot her and began opening fire on two of her children.
Lawrence Reed has been charged with murder for the July 29 death of his wife, Valerie Junius, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Junius was found dead in her Katy apartment by authorities who responded to reports of a shooting, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Upon arrival, deputies found Reed had barricaded himself inside the home. He later surrendered to SWAT personnel.
The sheriff’s office said a motive for the shooting appeared to be an ongoing domestic disturbance between the couple.
According to her family, Junius was on the phone with her mother when she was shot.
“My Auntie, Gloria, was on the phone with her daughter, Valerie, while she could overhear her husband, Lawrence Reed, telling Valerie that he was going to kill her and her kids,” the organizer of a GoFundMe page writes. “Gloria then had the horrific experience of having to hear Lawrence shoot her daughter Valerie a total of 7 times, ultimately taking her life.”
Reed then allegedly began shooting Junius’ 16-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter as they tried to flee and run out of the house. Both children were wounded but survived, the sheriff’s office said.
“No mother should ever have to endure the pain and heartache of listening to their child be murdered while on the phone with her,” the GoFundMe states.
Junius was in the process of leaving her husband, KTRK reports. She had been living with friends and family in Chicago, her hometown, for about a month, but returned home the day before her murder.
“He knew it was over when she stayed in Chicago for as long as she stayed,” Junius’ cousin, Treshawnda Junius, told the station. “He knew it was over. He killed her. He didn’t give her a chance.”
Junius leaves behind six children, ranging from 4 to 20 years old. The five younger children are now in the care of their grandmother, Gloria.
“They say that it takes a village to raise a child. We are reaching out to the community in hopes of getting Gloria and the children some help,” the GoFundMe states. “Please pray for Valerie in heaven, her children left here on Earth, along with her mother, Gloria.”
In addition to murder, Reed also faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It is unclear whether he has an attorney to comment on his behalf.