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A single mother of three and her teenage son, who recently graduated high school as class valedictorian, were shot to death on his birthday by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide in Texas last week.
Holly Beverly, 39, and Titus Akins were killed in the early morning hours of June 1 on Akins' 17th birthday at the apartment where they lived in Fort Worth, police said. Timothy Beverly, 39, shot his way into their home, killed both, then shot himself.
"We can tell you now that the suspect and the female victim were estranged spouses that had reportedly been apart approximately two to three years," said Fort Worth Officer Buddy Calzada, local station Fox 4 reported.
Timothy Beverly was not Titus’s Atkins father, police said. The motive for the killings was unclear.
At least 20 shell casings were found at the scene, police said.
Holly Beverly’s two other children, who are 12 and 18 years old, were at the home at the time of the killings; neighbors reported seeing them run out of the home after the gunfire was heard.
The police report of the incident was not immediately available as a minor was involved, Fort Worth police told Oxygen.com on Monday.
Those close to the family have set up a GoFundMe page to help the surviving children pay for funeral costs and other expenses.
“Holly loved Jesus and her family fiercely and tirelessly provided for her three children as a single mother,” the page states. “She was also a beloved teacher at Hope Works Christian Academy in Fort Worth. Her students and colleagues will miss her dearly.”
The page says that Titus was “kind, helpful and exceptionally bright,” and that he had graduated as valedictorian of his high school one year early.
“He loved to work and was excited to have just been promoted after a short time working at McDonald’s. He planned to work for a while until he could fulfill his goal of serving our country in the armed forces,” it states.
A service honoring the mother and son has been scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m., according to the page.
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