Tragic shooting sheds light on domestic violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tragic shooting sheds light on domestic violence

Police say Gomez argued with an unidentified woman outside the home. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Police say Gomez argued with an unidentified woman outside the home. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
The two siblings and their father leave behind an 11-year-old brother and his mother. The two siblings and their father leave behind an 11-year-old brother and his mother.

(WMC) - A Hickory Hill neighborhood is mourning the shooting deaths of a 6-year-old girl who used a wheelchair and her 24-year-old brother at the hands of their own father.

Police say Abel Gomez shot his children, then turned the gun on himself Friday night. Gomez later died at the hospital.

Police say in the 10 years the Gomez's lived in the 4000 block of Chinaberry Cove, Friday was the first time they have had to respond to the home. 

Police say Gomez argued with an unidentified woman outside the home. He then went inside and began shooting.

The two siblings and their father leave behind an 11-year-old brother and his mother.

The police director said domestic violence was the motivation in the case.

Domestic violence experts say silence is the most prevalent and dangerous part of the widespread problem.

It usually takes seven domestic violence incidents before a victim leaves; 95 percent of them are women. Advocates say you can get anonymous help before it's too late, even before the need to prosecute.

"You do not have to go through the police to get to us or the sheriff's office. We have walk-ins all the time," said Olliette Murry-Drobot with Memphis' Family Safety Center.

Domestic violence survivor Gwendolyn Turner, whose case is unrelated to the Gomez's, now works with other victims.

"I think the main reason is the degree of shame and humiliation that comes along with it. Another thing that will keep you silent is society tends to re-victimize you," she said.

Turner said it's hard to leave because of fear.

"That fear keeps you in a shell. You only want to do what pleases the abuser at the time because you don't know what else to day," she said.

Victims used to have to go all over town to get help. Now, there's one place, one number.

"One place to get an order of protection to start the process, come and file a police report, get an arrest warrant, counseling, access to housing," Murry-Drobot said.

An anonymous domestic violence support group meets every Thursday at the Family Safety Center. Call 901-222-4200 if you are a victim or have a loved one who could use help.

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