Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dad shoots and kills mom while she's holding their 14-month-old daughter (Metairie, Louisiana)

The dad is identified as FRANCISCO FERNANDEZ.

Hat tip to E.

Woman killed in Metairie murder-suicide shot by husband while holding their baby
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 4:59 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 6:51 PM
By Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune

The Metairie man who shot and killed his wife Monday afternoon before taking his own life opened fire while she was holding the couple's 14-month-old daughter, according to authorities.

The little girl, who has not been identified, was not injured in the shooting, said Sgt. Larry Dyess, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

The girl's parents have been identified as Francisco Fernandez, 32, and Yosaria Fernandez, 31. The couple lived at the Windmill Creek Apartment Homes, 3501 Apollo Drive in Metairie, where the shooting took place.

Deputies were called to the complex just before 3 p.m. after receiving reports of two people shot. Investigators later determined that Francisco Fernandez approached his wife while she was sitting inside of a maroon Ford Explorer in the back parking lot and opened fire, Dyess said. He then turned the gun on himself.

Yosaria Fernandez was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Francisco Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene, his body lying face up between the Explorer and a pick-up truck.

Dyess said the couple is originally from the Dominican Republic. They've lived in the New Orleans area for the past few years. Detectives found no records of abuse or domestic strife in either Jefferson Parish or any of the neighboring jurisdictions.

The couple's daughter had been in Yosaria Fernandez's lap during the shooting, Dyess said. The baby appeared uninjured and mostly calm Monday afternoon as detectives scoured the crime scene for evidence. The girl, clad in pink, was bounced and held by an unidentified woman, possibly another resident of the apartment complex.

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services eventually took custody of the girl, Dyess said. Trey Williams, communications director for the state child welfare agency, said he could not discuss specifics about the girl's case because of confidentiality concerns. But Williams said in general that law enforcement officers try to contact and place children with relatives, especially after they have been witnesses to violent crimes.

"It's when a relative is not available right then that law enforcement contacts DCFS," Williams said.

The agency then attempts to identify and locate a relative and perform a background check to ensure the child's safety. If no relatives are found, then the child is placed with a foster parent while the search continues. If no family members can be located after an extended search- or none can pass the background checks - then the child could be placed up for adoption.