Sunday, November 29, 2009

UPDATE: Dad who killed son had history of domestic violence, was in "bitter custody dispute" (Paterson, New Jersey)

Sooo surprising. Now we find out that dad EDELMIRO GONZALEZ who gunned down and murdered his 7-year-old son, has a history of domestic violence (the 11-year-old son and the boys' mom were also shot and are in critical condition). It also appears that Mom tried to protect herself and her children by obtaining restraining order, which Dad obviously ignored.

In addition, it appears that there was a "bitter custody dispute" (read: Dad's abusive behavior also included harrassment directed against the mother, and threats to strip her of her children, leaving them at a heightened risk of injury and death).

Families of abusers are often conditioned into knee jerk defenses of their actions, which we see here. For all the talk that Dad wasn't really a "violent man," his actions certainly prove otherwise. And in retrospect, I think we can safely conclude that this man would not have been a good bet for additional child custody/visitation rights of any sort. Not when he's perfectly willing to gun down his own children because he's frustrated or "fed up." Lots of people get "fed up" from all kinds of aggravation everyday, but they don't murder their children.

Police: Paterson father who killed son, shot family had history of domestic violence
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Last updated: Sunday November 29, 2009, 9:12 PM
The Record

A Paterson man who murdered his young son and shot his estranged wife and a second son on a busy city street Saturday had a history of domestic violence and was under a restraining order at the time of the shootings, police said Sunday.

Authorities declined to speculate on a motive for the rampage, but Edelmiro Gonzalez’s daughter said Sunday that her father was locked in a bitter custody dispute with his estranged wife, Johanna Gonzalez, 31.

“He was just fed up with the situation,” said the daughter, Yulisa Robles, 30.

Police said Johanna Gonzalez was dropping her sons off at her mother’s Broadway apartment around 9 a.m. and was about to drive to her job at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus when Edelmiro Gonzalez, 54, approached her sport utility vehicle.

Brandishing two handguns, Edelmiro Gonzalez shot his son Adrian, 7, then chased down his other son Edryn, 11, and shot the boy in the neck, police said. The crazed father then went back to the SUV and chased his estranged wife past a McDonald’s on Madison Avenue, where he shot her once in the shoulder, police said.

Adrian was pronounced dead at the scene. Edryn and his mother remained in critical condition Sunday at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed Edelmiro Gonzalez after ordering him to drop his weapon. When he didn’t, Lt. Washington Griffin fired twice, hitting Gonzalez in the head and right leg, police said.

Johanna Gonzalez got the restraining order in September, following “previous incidents of domestic violence,” Detective Lt. Ron Humphrey said. He declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the order of protection.

Police are tracing the guns used in the shooting — a .45 caliber and a small caliber handgun — to determine if they were legally owned, Humphrey said.

Edelmiro Gonzalez’s family members — gathered at their 21st Avenue house on Sunday — painted a portrait of a man on the brink. He was upset over the custody battle, the home he owned on Eighth Avenue was in foreclosure, and his gutter cleaning and installation business was failing.

“Business wasn’t going so well,” Robles said.

She said, however, that she never knew her father to have a handgun and has no idea where he got them from.

The family will decide Monday on the funeral arrangements for her father, Robles said.
The funeral arrangements for Adrian were unknown Sunday.

Robles said she has been in contact with Johanna Gonzalez’s family and visited them at St. Joseph’s.

Griffin, the officer who killed Edelmiro Gonzalez, declined comment at his home on Sunday. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, a standard procedure in police-involved shootings.

Alberto Rodriguez, manager of the 99 Cent El Gigante store across the street from the shootings, said he was opening his store when Edelmiro Gonzalez was shot by Griffin.

“I just heard a pop, pop, pop, and I saw a woman screaming. … I hid under my car,”

Dominga Nuez, Edelmiro Gonzalez’s girlfriend, said he was separated for about three years and was not a violent man. Nuez said Gonzalez said he was going to pick up his sons and take them to the home of a daughter from a former marriage.

David Cozart, the principal of School 8, where the boys attended, said he’d be meeting with district officials today about setting up counseling for students and staff at the school.

“I ask the staff to keep the Gonzalez family in their prayers. Once we find out more details we are going to come together as a school family to provide any services we can,” Cozart said.