Police have identified the man who murdered three small children in Albuquerque, New Mexico to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend.
George Daniel “Danny” Wechsler shot and killed himself after slaying the children, ages 5, 6, and 9, said KOB 4-TV.
The mother of the children was also shot but survived and is in critical condition, the television station said. The victims’ names were not yet released on December 7.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wechsler Waited in the Family’s House & Ambushed the Mother & Children
The shot children were a 5-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, police said. The New York Daily News said the shooting occurred around 6 p.m. on December 6.
Wechsler waited inside the family’s home and ambushed them, according to the newspaper. “Investigators believe the offender broke in to the family’s home when they weren’t there, and he waited for them to return. He ambushed the family and shot the three children and their mother. The female victim who is 36 years old is still in critical condition,” the Albuquerque police said in a press release.
2. Wechsler Was Angry Because He Wasn’t Allowed to Give the Children Christmas Gifts
Police said Wechsler snapped when the mother refused to allow him to give the children Christmas presents and to visit them.
Wechsler died at the hospital from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said in a statement.
3. The Mother & Wechsler Had a Previous Romantic Relationship & He Was on Five Dating Sites
Although the children’s mother and Wechsler had been involved in a romantic relationship, it was short term. Albuquerque police said in a statement, “Preliminary investigation reveals he was dating the mother of the children. She broke off the relationship and had repeatedly asked him not to contact her or the kids.”
KOB said the killer had profiles on five dating sites, describing himself as a “good man. loving, caring and loyal” who wanted a woman “willing to act ridiculous right along with me.”
4. The Mother tried to Protect the Children
The police chief said, according to KRQUE: “Our evidence also shows that the mom fought diligently to protect her children and to get them out of the home safely.”
The mother managed to get to a neighbor’s house, but it was too late to save the children, the TV station said.
5. Wechsler Has a Criminal History of Stalking & Was a Former Correctional Officer
Wechsler’s criminal record includes charges for stalking, harassment, and aggravated battery, said the Las Cruces Sun-News.
According to KOB, Wechsler had punched his brother in the jaw, breaking his teeth, and stalked a previous girlfriend by “sitting outside her work, watching her through binoculars while armed with a gun.”
KRQUE said Wechsler, according to his Facebook page, “worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield and graduated from Highland High. He also worked as a corrections officer at the Downtown jail until it closed.”
The police said: “Wechsler does not have a felony criminal history with the Albuquerque Police Department that investigators have found at this point. Court records show that Wechsler plead guilty to misdemeanor stalking and misdemeanor assault in 2002.”
He was also transported to the hospital and underwent a mental evaluation after threatening to commit suicide in November of 2016, the police said.