A mother-of-three from Texas has been shot dead in front of her children by an illegal immigrant who had previously been deported from the U.S. after being convicted of child sex crimes.
43-year-old Florencio Felix Barron Alvarez, an illegal immigrant, murdered his 36-year-old ex-wife, Veneranda Martinez, in front of her three kids while she was sitting in her car at a Valero gas station parking lot in Austin, KXAN-TV reports.
According to police, Alvarez then shot and killed himself. Horrifyingly, the couple’s two sons and a daughter, aged between 10 and 13, were present in their mom’s car and witnessed their parents’ brutal deaths. Relatives of Martinez are said to have tried to get the father to stop what he was doing but ultimately could not.
Itzel Garcia, a family friend, told KXAN that she tried telling Alvarez, “Papi, don’t do this,” but he wouldn’t listen. “They tried defending their mom, and it got to the point where she just collapsed on her daughter’s lap,” she added.
“We all cried,” Garcia said. “She didn’t deserve it.”
According to Garcia, Alvarez had been stalking and harassing his ex-wife for the past few months, forcing Martinez to ask for police assistance more than once.
Alvarez was first deported from the country after he was convicted of child sex crimes after inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl at a South Austin elementary school in 2016. After re-entering the country illegally in 2018, Alvarez began to harass Martinez.
The orphaned children have been placed in the care of family members. A GoFundMe account to pay for Martinez’s funeral costs has been set up.