(HOUSTON) — A horrific act of domestic violence unfolded at a soccer tournament near Houston when a pregnant woman and her boyfriend were gunned down in front of witnesses allegedly by her ex-husband, who later died by apparent suicide, according to authorities.
The shooting occurred around 10:15 a.m. on Sunday at a park in Harris County, northeast of Houston.
“Heartbreaking!” is how Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez described the killings.
The pregnant woman and her boyfriend were shot in the parking lot of the park soon after they arrived to watch the woman’s son play soccer, according to sheriff’s department officials.
Witnesses told investigators that the woman’s 42-year-old ex-husband was already at the tournament watching their son play when he saw her and her boyfriend in the parking lot and went to confront them, according to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
“The ex-husband walked up to them and shot both of them multiple times with a silver revolver. The ex-husband then walked to his vehicle and drove away,” the sheriff’s office statement reads.
The boyfriend died at the scene while the woman was taken to Houston Northwest Medical Center, where she and her unborn child were both pronounced dead, according to the statement.
“There were at least 100 people out here at the soccer field at the time that the shooting occurred,” Sgt. Ben Beall of the sheriff’s office told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston.
Beall said relatives of the pregnant woman told investigators that the suspected shooter was the victim’s ex-husband.
The sheriff’s office immediately launched a search for the ex-husband.
Around noon on Sunday, a relative of the alleged gunman called sheriff’s investigators to report the suspect contacted them by phone and was threatening to take his own life, authorities said. They directed the sheriff’s office to go to a mobile home within the city limits of Houston to check on the man.
“The deputies located a Hispanic male, believed to be the ex-husband, behind the trailer, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” the statement from the sheriff’s office reads.
A silver revolver matching the one used in the double homicide was found on the ground next to the man, authorities said.
The names of the victims and the alleged gunman were being withheld by authorities pending confirmation by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The shootings come amid skyrocketing gun violence that has swept the nation in recent months.
An ABC News investigation published on Sunday analyzed data from the Gun Violence Archive, an online site that tracks gun violence, and found that between Saturday, July 17, and Friday, July 23, at least 1,018 shooting incidents occurred nationwide — which calculates to a shooting every 10 minutes. At least 404 people were killed in the incidents and 928 wounded.
Many of the shootings involved domestic violence, the report found.
Last year marked the deadliest year for shooting-related incidents in the United States in at least two decades, according to Gun Violence Archive data with more than 43,000 gun deaths. The data suggests 2021 is on track to surpass those figures with more than 24,000 gun fatalities already reported.
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