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A California father fatally shot his 10-year-old son to death before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide last week, authorities said.
Victor Gomes, 43, was pronounced dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said, according to the Hanford Sentinel. His son Wyland Gomes was rushed to hospital but later died from his injuries.
Police responded to the residence after receiving a tip that blood had possibly been spotted there, according to the Hanford Sentinel. So far authorities are struggling to determine a motive in the murder-suicide.
“Right now, we have no triggering or significant events that can point us to why this occurred today,” Capt. Karl Anderson told the Hanford Sentinel. “It’s a horribly sad day for us.”
Wyland was killed, the boy’s family said, during a supervised visit with his father at the man’s parents’ house when the murder-suicide occurred.
“We’re all still in shock,” Wyland’s aunt, Alysia Gonzalez, told Oxygen.com. “There’s a grieving process that’s unknown until we go through it. There’s an element of anger for sure, but there’s more sadness, like how do we move on?”
Gonzalez said the family is both “devastated” and “extremely angry” after the loss of her nephew. She described Victor Gomes, the boy’s father, as a “sick person” who struggled with suicidal tendencies and mental illness.
"He's a monster," she said.
Gonzalez said that her sister, who operates a local yoga studio, divorced Victor in 2016.
In 2016, Wyland’s mother, Christy Gomes, sought a restraining order against Victor after the man expressed suicidal thoughts, according to the Hanford Sentinel. Gonzalez said that he was able to retain visitation rights with his son after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Authorities seized a firearm from the man, which is still reportedly in the possession of Hanford Police Department, the newspaper also reported.
Two years ago, police were called to assist on a custody exchange of the boy between both parents, as well.
Gonzalez said that her sister’s estranged husband was recently unemployed, lived with his parents, and suspected he was coping with bi-polar disorder.
“He wasn’t able to function in society,” Gonzalez stated.
Gomes arrived in the U.S. with his parents at the age of 4, the man’s obituary stated. The family had emigrated from Teceira, Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal. He previously worked as a grocery warehouse manager.
Wyland’s family described the dead 10-year-old as an “old soul” and a “curious kid” with an “infectious smile” and a “brilliant sense of humor,” who loved video games and his friends, according to a separate obituary published this week.
“He was the perfect grandson,” Gonzalez said.
His aunt said while her quick-witted nephew was quiet, he also had impeccable comedic timing.
“He would say stuff, you would have no idea it would come out of a young boy’s mind,” Gonzalez recalled. “He spoke up and cracked his jokes, like it was kind of out of nowhere. He’s very smart in the sense where he would kind of sit back at whatever family function, listen to everybody talk — he was just that type of person that would pop out with a joke about something. And it would be funny.”
Hundreds turned out for a candlelit vigil in Hanford last week to support the family. Kings River-Hardwick Elementary School, where Wyland attended school, also constructed a memorial for the 10-year-old. As of Thursday, a GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $45,000 for the family.
A funeral service for the 10-year-old will be held on March 15 in Hanford.
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