A woman was shot and killed in front of her children on August 11 in Indiantown, Florida, cops said, including her 10-year-old daughter who was on a Zoom call for school. The murder occurred on Tuesday morning at a residence near Booker Park, in Indiantown, a small town northwest of West Palm Beach.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said during a press conference that 32-year-old Maribel Rosado Morales was shot and killed at her home, where six children were present, CBS12 reported. Morales’ ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Donald J. Williams, was arrested and gave a full confession to police officers. He will be charged with first-degree murder, the outlet reported.
Williams & Morales Had a History of Domestic Problems & Were Estranged at the Time of the Shooting, Police Said
Williams and the victim had been estranged about a year, according to investigators, and the two had past issues with domestic violence. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said that Williams had recently been released from jail on another domestic violence charge.
According to investigators, Williams showed up at the house at around 8 a.m. Morales was at home with her four children and two cousins, who live across the street. Investigators said that Williams is not the father of any of the children.
At that point, Snyder said, “There was some type of argument. He went in and confronted her with something to do with a video. He says she actually started to smile at him and he became enraged and shot her,” Snyder explained. Police said that Morales was shot multiple times. She was airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Florida, but succumbed to her injuries.
After shooting Morales, police said Williams fled the scene on a bike before boarding a Martin County Public Transit bus. The bus driver became suspicious of Williams and called 911, CBS12 reported. A SWAT team responded to the call and arrested Williams.
The Shooting Took Place When One of the Children Was Logged on a School Zoom Call & a Bullet Struck Her Computer
One of the six children present in the home, Morales’ 10-year-old daughter, was on a Zoom call getting ready for her first day of virtual learning when the incident took place, CBS12 reported. The young girl, who was not named, is a student at Warfield Elementary and was online with the teacher and other students when her mother was shot.
Snyder said, “The teacher’s statement is that she heard a commotion, knew it was some kind of confrontation, muted it and then watched the 10-year-old put her hands up to her ears.” A bullet struck the computer and the screen went blank, the sheriff said.
According to CBS12, the school issued the following statement: “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. 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.”
Snyder said the Department of Children and Families will make a decision about the care of the victim’s four children, whose ages range between 10 and 17.