A community gathered to mourn on Monday after an Oak Forest mother and her two adult children were killed outside their home Friday morning.
According to police, 43-year-old Lupe Gomez and her adult children, identified as 22-year-old Briana and 20-year-old Emilio Rodriquez, were outside their home in the 5500 block of Ann Marie Lane on Friday morning when 44-year-old Carlos Gomez, Lupe’s husband, allegedly shot all three of them.
Witnesses say that Carlos then ran back in the house and set it on fire before turning the weapon on himself.
On Monday, hundreds gathered in Oak Forest to show love and unity, and to mourn the loss of three lives that family members say was a preventable tragedy.
Jorge Rodriguez, the father of both Emilio and Briana, says that there were signs that Carlos Gomez abused his children, but that those warnings fell on deaf ears during custody hearings.
“We seen the signs. It was preventable and nobody stopped it,” he said.
His fiancée Dawn Guerrero said that the family tried to warn court officials, but to no avail.
“When I left that courtroom, I told them that if they didn’t get these children away from him…that he was going to end up killing them, and here they are, gone,” she said.
While his anger about the slayings was palpable, Jorge preferred to spend time talking about the people that his son and daughter were becoming.
“They were lovable, always helping people out,” he said. “They were always looking after each other.”
Purple candles were handed out after the tragedy to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and community members gathered to sign hymns and pay tributes to lives lost.
“I’m broken,” Jorge said. “To everyone here, thank you for being here for my kids.”