A Florida mother was fatally shot in front of six children while her 10-year-old daughter was attending her first day of virtual learning Tuesday, authorities said.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said 27-year-old Donald J. Williams arrived at the Indiantown home of his ex-girlfriend, 32-year-old Maribel Rosado-Morales, about 8 a.m. when he shot her “multiple times” in front of her four children and their two cousins.
“There was some type of argument. He went in and confronted her with something to do with a video,” Sheriff William Snyder said during a press conference. “Later we learned there was a conversation about Facebook, and he says she actually started to smile at him and he became enraged and shot her.”
“We think most of the children in the home saw it,” he added, but “none of the children were injured.”
The woman’s 10-year-old daughter, a student at Warfield Elementary, was online with her teacher and classmates when the shots were fired, the sheriff said.
“The teacher said that she heard a commotion, heard profanity, realized there was some kind of domestic altercation, and still could see the child that’s online,” the sheriff said. “The teacher said she mutes her button so nobody has to hear it, and then she sees the 10-year-old put her hands up to her ears.”
Sheriff Snyder said the computer feed almost immediately went black because it was hit by a projectile.
Mr. Williams fled the scene but was later found nearby on a public transit bus and arrested, the sheriff said.
Ms. Rosado-Morales died of her wounds.
Sheriff Snyder said Mr. Williams gave a full confession and will face a first-degree murder charge and a “multitude of other felony offenses,” including armed burglary and armed home invasion.
Warfield Elementary and the Martin County School District released a statement offering its condolences to the family, CBS 12 reported.
“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the victim’s family, including the children present in the home who were witnesses to this heartbreaking and senseless tragedy,” the statement read. “We have our grief team deployed to assist students and staff who will undoubtedly feel the impact of this horrible incident. We stand ready to assist and offer support in any way we can.”
The sheriff said all of Ms. Rosado-Morales’ children had opted to take virtual classes instead of in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. He couldn’t say whether keeping her children safe from the virus was the motivating factor for keeping them home.