Indiantown, FL – A Florida mother was gunned down in front of her children inside their home on Tuesday morning while one of the kids was participating in a class via Zoom.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said the sheriff’s office got a 911 call at about 8 a.m. on Aug. 11 that said there had been a shooting in a home in the 14000-block of SW 173rd Avenue near Booker Parker, WPTV reported.
Sheriff Snyder said that 32-year-old Maribel Rosado Morales was home with her six children when her ex-boyfriend, 27-year-old Donald Williams, burst into the house.
“It’s a sad case. It’s a terrible case,” the sheriff said. “He went in and confronted her with something to do with a video. Then later we learned there was a conversation about Facebook. And he says she actually started to smile at him and he became enraged and shot her.”
It was the first day of school and virtual learning for Morales’ 10-year-old daughter, WPTV reported.
The teacher said that she was teaching when an argument broke out in the background at the student’s home.
“The child that was online was the 10-year-old,” Sheriff Snyder said. “The teacher’s statement is that she heard a commotion. She did hear some high-tone conversation, noticed some kind of confrontation, muted it, and then watched the 10-year-old put her hands up to her ears.”
The teacher told deputies that a split-second later, the child’s computer screen went dark, WPEC reported.
Sheriff Snyder told reporters a “projectile” had struck the computer, WPTV reported.
Authorities said Williams opened fire on Morales during an argument.
“We think most of the children in the home saw it,” the sheriff said.
None of the children inside the home were hurt, according to WPTV.
Police said that Williams fled the house on a bike after he shot Morales and went to a nearby laundromat.
Then he tried to board a bus and asked the driver if she would take him to Stuart, WPTV reported.
Williams’ mannerisms made the bus driver suspicious so she got off the bus and called 911.
Sheriff Snyder said there was a SWAT unit in the area for training and they quickly responded to the bus driver’s emergency call, WPTV reported.
Williams was taken into custody without incident.
The sheriff said the SWAT team found Williams armed with a stolen gun, WPTV reported.
He said Williams confessed the murder to police when he was apprehended.
Sheriff Snyder said Williams was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, armed burglary, and armed home invasion, WPTV reported.
The sheriff said there will likely be additional charges.
MCSO on scene of a domestic related shooting in Indiantown, in the Booker Park area. One person has been shot, the suspect is in custody.
— MartinCountySheriff (@MartinFLSheriff) August 11, 2020
Neighbors told WPTV they were concerned because Morales was a single mother.
“Now I’m worried because I knew this girl since kids,” neighbor Matias Domingo said. “She has family, kids. She’s the mother of I think three or four or five. But being shot by a person, they shouldn’t be doing that.”
They said Morales had a reputation as a good neighbor and loving mother to her six children between the ages of 10 and 17, WPEC reported.
“She was a very friendly, loving, kind person. It’s just sad to see that situation happen,” neighbor Jeremy Carroll said.