Family of six found shot in Bay City
By BY ADRIANA ACOSTA AND ERIN PRADIA - AACOSTA@VICAD.COM/EPRADIA@VICAD.COM
Nov. 30, 2011 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated Dec. 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
BAY CITY - Six members of a family were found shot at a home in the 2700 block of 10th Street about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Bay City police officers went to the home in response to a call about a woman being shot. When they arrived, they discovered the six-member family - four children, a woman and a man - shot, said Bay City Police Lt. Andrew Lewis.
The children were flown by LifeFlight helicopter to different hospitals in Houston.
The suspected shooter was dead at the scene from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Lewis said.
"We know the female victim is currently in surgery," he added.
Arturo Gonzales, who worked with the woman - identified as Laura Gonzales - said she was 24 years old and worked as a waitress at La Casona, a Mexican restaurant in Bay City.
She had worked earlier that day, and Gonzales said he could not believe the news.
"I came to the scene as soon as I found out what happened," Gonzales said. "She is such a good person and friendly."
Gonzales said he knew the couple would constantly argue.
Gilbert Garza Jr. said he was coming home from work when he saw school children running down the street and their mothers pulling them out of the way.
Students from nearby Cherry Elementary School - about two blocks away on Cottonwood Avenue - were leaving school for the day when the shooting occurred.
At the scene, the shooter was covered with a blanket soon after police arrived, he said.
"This is just horrible to see," Garza said. "My daughter goes to school with one of the kids."
Neighbor Laura Perez said one of the injured children was 2 years old.
Garza said the older children ranged in age from 5 to 8 years old.
Front-door neighbor Casta Alvarado was surprised by the shooting. Alvarado said she always saw them walking across the street to the Cherry Elementary playground.
She said she didn't think the couple was having problems.
"I saw them at the park, and they looked so happy," she said.
Perez also said the family was very quiet and that she always saw them playing outside with their kids.
"I don't understand what made him do that," Perez said.
The father, Jose (last name unknown), had recently lost his job, and his wife had moved into the Matagorda County Women's Crisis Center, Perez said.
"Whatever made her come home this day I don't understand," Perez said. "I would not come back."
Later in the evening, people were flocking to the site, dropping off balloons, bears and lighted candles.
Maliyah Griggs said she came to visit to pray for the children.
"I left a bear and rosary and Bible," she said.
"It's sad what happens and it breaks my heart that this happened. (I did it) to remember the children and help the family get through it," she said.