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A San Antonio mother was shot to death outside of her apartment complex this week in front of her three children as she was taking them to school, according to authorities.
Samantha Lopez, 28, was found shot to death around 7:15 a.m. on Monday outside the M.C. Beldon Apartments, according to a preliminary police report, as was reported by local news station KSAT. Her three children — ages 2, 6 and 10 — were with her when she was gunned down. The children were not wounded in the incident.
Multiple San Antonio news outlets have reported that a man has been taken into custody for questioning as a person of interest in the investigation, but according to the preliminary report, no arrests have been made. The San Antonio Police Department did not immediately reply after being contacted by Oxygen.com.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters on Monday outside of the M.C. Beldon Apartments that investigators were “relatively certain” that the man brought in by police was Lopez’s estranged husband.
Police said that the man had a protective order against him that he had violated in 2019, told local news outlet KENS-TV reported. He was out on bond for the violation of that protective order.
"She had a protective order, and it didn't work," Rosemary Gonzales, Lopez’s mother, told the local station.
Mourners gathered at the spot where she was killed to hold a vigil on Tuesday night honoring the life of the young mother and grieving her death. Gonzales was in attendance and told KENS-TV that her daughter’s killer is a coward.
"I lost a daughter, and that is hard," Gonzales said. "A big old demon came and did what he did and destroyed a family. A coward doesn't shoot from behind and once she is down and shoots her again. That's awful, that is an awful death for her."
Sheriff McManus said after the killing that he believes the justice system failed Lopez and her family, KENS reported, and that a system must be put in place in order to keep victims of family violence safe.
Anyone with information is asked to call SAPD’s Homicide Unit at 210-207-7635.
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