MADERA, California (KGPE) – Three children are without their mother after police say a man shot her several times outside a medical center in Madera Tuesday.
Police say the victim died shielding her three children, aged six years and younger, from the gunfire.
The shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. outside Camarena Healthcare Clinic in Madera. Madera Police says the woman was there for an appointment.
“This is despicable. I can’t think of anything more horrific than to do something like this,” said Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson.
Chief Lawson says the suspect followed the victim to her doctor’s appointment and when she was done, she was walking to her car with her three children and he opened fire.
“She was shot once, she ran over to the van and laid over her three children to save them. At that point she sustained two more gunshot wounds,” said Chief Lawson.
Lawson says the attack wasn’t random but a tragic outcome of domestic violence: the suspect was stalking the woman and has a criminal history of domestic violence in Chowchilla.
“A cold-blooded act in front of the mother’s children, or even taking a life in the first place, but to do it in front of your own children and the mother, being a mother sacrificed her own life and laid across the body of her children to save them,” said Lawson.
The three children with the victim were all six-years-old or younger; they were uninjured.
According to Madera Police, both the suspect and woman are from Chowchilla. Their identities have not been released but police say they have surveillance video and other strong leads that will help them make an arrest.
“Our sole duty is to build a case and to go after and arrest the suspect, and get them into custody so that he can answer for this heinous crime,” said Lawson.
Anyone with information is asked to call 559-675-4220.