During a 10-year-old girl’s first day of online school her mother was shot and killed in their home by her ex-boyfriend. Maribel Rosado-Morales, 32, was killed on Tuesday by Donald Williams, 27, who has been charged with first-degree murder after confessing, CBS 12 reports.
Rosado-Morales was shot repeatedly in front of her four children and two cousins, who live across the street. Her daughter is a student at Warfield Elementary in Indiantown and was in a Zoom class when the altercation began and one of the bullets struck her computer.
“The teacher said she heard and saw a commotion, heard profanity, and realized there was some sort of domestic altercation,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said during a press conference. “Then [the teacher] sees the 10-year-old put her hands up to her ears.” The former couple had been estranged for more than a year and had a history of domestic violence, according to Snyder.
Domestic violence has surged since the lockdown with 18 of 22 law enforcement agencies across the nation reporting they saw a rise in domestic violence calls in April according to NBC. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 23.4 percent of Latinas are victims of domestic violence and African American women experience domestic violence 2.5 times the rate of women of other races.
The most recent report on fatalities from domestic abuse in Florida found that 94 percent of domestic abusers who murdered were men, and in 62 percent of domestic abuse cases that ended in death occurred at home, Orlando Weekly reports. Indiantown is located in Martin County in the Treasure Coast where domestic violence cases increased 79 percent between March 6 and April 6, compared to the same time frame last year, West Palm Beach TV reports.
Detectives say Williams fled the shooting scene on a bicycle, then boarded a Martin County Public Transit bus and asked the bus driver to take him to [the city] Stuart. The driver got suspicious and called 911 and the SWAT team arrested him, CBS 12 reports. Williams is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of burglary, and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and he’s being held without bond.
Rosado-Morales’ mother spoke to WPEC, saying her grandchildren told her Williams allegedly “opened the gate and quietly walked in” before firing twice. Ana Rosado-Cabrera will take on the role of caretaker for the kids who range in age from 10 to 17.
“It was hard for Maribel being a mom to six and having a young daughter with a disability but she was a great mother and worked hard to keep food on the table for her kids,” the family wrote in the GoFundMe campaign set up to cover funeral costs and funds for the kids.