- A San Diego man killed four members of his family before turning the gun on himself in a domestic violence murder-suicide.
- San Diego Police Lt. Matt Dobbs said at a press conference that an investigation into the attack is ongoing, but three of the couple’s four children had died in “a tragic case of domestic violence murder-suicide.”
- The couple was going through the process of getting a divorce, and the woman had obtained a restraining order against the man the day before the shooting.
- A local victim advocate told NBC San Diego that Rosario had taken all the necessary steps in removing herself and her children from her husband’s reach, but the initial steps of fleeing a domestically violent relationship are the most dangerous time for a vulnerable partner.
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Five members of a San Diego family reportedly died Saturday in a domestic violence murder-suicide after a father shot his wife and three of their children before shooting himself.
San Diego Police Lt. Matt Dobbs said at a press conference after the tragedy that police first responded to a home in the city’s Paradise Hills neighborhood after receiving a 911 call in which no one spoke, but responders could hear an argument in the background.
When officers reached the home, they saw a small child inside covered in blood, Dobbs said. They then broke in through a window and found five additional people, including two adults and four children suffering from gunshot wounds.
Officers found a 31-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman, and their 3-year-old son dead at the scene.
Their three other sons, aged between five and 11, were transported to a hospital, where two of them died. Dobbs said in the press conference that the third hospitalized child underwent emergency surgery and is in critical condition.
The couple was going through the process of getting a divorce, and the woman had obtained a restraining order against the man the day before the shooting, which police described initially appeared “to be a tragic case of domestic violence murder-suicide.”
Police added that they had responded to the same home on November 1, when the man showed up at the address. He didn’t live at the house, and officers gave the woman information about obtaining a restraining order.
NBC San Diego reported that Jocelyn Rosario, the sister of the woman, Sabrina Rosario, said the couple met in high school before Rosario filed for divorce, which was never finalized, and sparked more issues.
Rosario’s husband José Valdivia did not want to get divorced and stalked her, Rosario told the outlet, even sending her photos of alcohol and a gun and saying he had suicidal thoughts.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a neighbor recounted that Rosario told her she was being abused “but she felt like she had nowhere else to go.”
The attack is the latest example of the grave danger in domestic violence cases that make victims feel isolated and without options to take care of themselves and their children.
Jessica Yaffa, a survivor of domestic violence and victim advocate with the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, told NBC San Diego after the attack that Rosario had taken all the necessary steps in removing herself and her children from her husband’s reach.
“She really had dotted her i’s and crossed her t’s,” Yaffa told the outlet, adding that the initial steps of fleeing a domestically violent relationship are the most dangerous time for a vulnerable partner.