Three young siblings in Texas witnessed the unthinkable on Monday morning, just as they were preparing to head off to school. According to police, the children’s mother, 28-year-old Samantha Lopez, was reportedly gunned down right in front of them, as all three looked on in stunned horror. But one of the most disturbing details about the crime is the person now being investigated as the trigger man: Lopez’s estranged husband.
The shooting happened around 7 a.m. on Monday, outside Lopez’s apartment on Harlow Drive in San Antonio.
Just moments after Lopez loaded her daughters into the back of her pickup truck, the young mother was gunned down right outside her vehicle.
By the time police made it to the scene, Lopez had already died from her injuries, and was pronounced dead at 7:15 a.m.
The children — who are all girls, ages 2, 6, and 10 — were reportedly unharmed in the attack.
That said, witnessing the brutal murder of their own mother was undoubtedly traumatizing, and knowing that their father now stands accused of the crime is bound to have a lasting impact.
For now, all three girls are being cared for by a relative.
Though Lopez’s estranged husband has been detained, he has not been charged.
He has also not been named publicly, though Lopez’s mother, Rosemary Gonzales, remains convinced that he’s the shooter.
As Gonzales told KENS 5 this week, her 28-year-old daughter endured a rocky relationship with the man for years. Toward the end, she appeared to live in fear of him.
“She had a protective order, and it didn’t work,” Gonzales told the outlet this week.
Police later confirmed to KENS 5 that the man was out on bond for violating that order at the time of the shooting.
Gonzales described her daughter’s accused killer as merciless and even “cowardly.”
“A coward doesn’t shoot from behind and once she is down and shoot her again,” Gonzales told the outlet. “That’s awful, that is an awful death for her.”
As for the children, KSAT reports that all three were in the back of their mother’s pickup truck when shots were fired.
“They might know he did it,” Gonzales told reporters. “A lot people know that he did it. But there is not proof as of yet.”