A U.S. mom was shot dead while her daughter was attending an online Zoom class, the shooting took place on Tuesday at 08:00 local time (13:00 GMT) in Indiantown, Florida, and five children witnessed the horrific shooting of their mom.
According to investigators the girl’s teacher heard conflict and was able to mute before the loud shots were fired.
The culprit, Donald Williams, 27, was apprehended after escaping on a bicycle.
Maribel Rosado Morales, 32, was shot dead while four of her own children and two young cousins witnessed, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
The girl, who goes to Warfield Elementary School, was attending her first day of online classes after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in schools in the area to rely on online learning. Florida is one of the worst-hit states in the US with over 542,000 infections.
In a press conference, Sheriff William Snyder said Mr. Williams had gone home in an attempt to confront his ex-girlfriend about a Facebook video.
The teacher, he said, “heard a commotion, heard profanity, realized it was some sort of domestic altercation”.
“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,” he continued, adding that the screen suddenly went blank after the child’s reaction.
He added that a bullet was said to have shot the computer screen.
Mr. Williams escaped by bicycle before taking a city bus. After requesting that the driver take him to a neighborhood, not on her route, the driver phoned the police.
Mr. Williams was apprehended by a Swat team who happened to be training the area at the time. According to the sheriff, he has already given a “full confession”.
He has been charged with murder, as well as several other felony charges including being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The sheriff said that he will also face charges of armed burglary and armed home invasion and that there may be additional penalties due to the presence of children witnessing everything during the fatal death of their mom.
The Florida Department of Children and Families will be assigned to finding new homes for the deceased’s children, who are all between the ages of 10 to 17, investigators say.
“Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the victim’s family, including the children present in the home who were witnesses to this heart-breaking and senseless tragedy,” the Warfield Elementary School and the Martin County School District said a statement.
“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.”