The family of a deceased mother of six says her husband fatally shot her and also injured her two children because she was trying to end their marriage.
According to KTRK, authorities say Lawrence Reed killed Valerie Junius during a domestic violence incident at a home in Roaring Oaks Lane, Texas, on July 29. Two of the deceased mother’s children who were around during the incident also sustained gunshot wounds and were transported to a hospital for treatment.
In an interview with the news outlet, Treshawnda Junius, a cousin of Valerie, said the deceased mother had left Reed and had been staying in Chicago for about four weeks prior to returning to Texas. “She didn’t know she was walking into this,” Treshawnda said. “She was going to leave him. She was tired.”
Treshawnda added that Reed fatally shot Valerie a day after she returned to Texas. “He knew it was over when she stayed in Chicago for as long as she stayed,” Treshawnda said. “He knew it was over. He killed her. He didn’t give her a chance.”
A neighbor who heard the gunshots called 911 to report the incident. “The kids came running outside when I heard the gunshots the first time and I told my friend I would call her back,” the neighbor recalled. “That’s when they started running outside and saying, ‘He shot my mom. He shot her.’ I called 911 and I heard multiple, more shots go off.”
A GoFundMe that has been set up to help raise funds to support the deceased mother’s family described the events leading to the fatal shooting, saying Valerie’s mother was on the phone with the victim when she heard Reed telling her daughter he was “going to kill her and her kids.” The account states that the grandmother then heard Reed shooting her daughter seven times before turning the gun on the deceased mother’s 16-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter.
Following the shooting, authorities said Reed got into a standoff with law enforcement officers after he barricaded himself in the home and threatened to kill himself, KTRK reported. The suspect, however, later surrendered and was arrested. Reed has since been charged with murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
“No mother should ever have to endure the pain and heartache of listening to their child be murdered while on the phone with her,” the GoFundMe stated. “We are left speechless and in shock. Valerie was a mother to six children ranging in age from 20 years old to 4 years old, along with one grandchild. Valerie worked hard to help all of her children.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office told KTRK the fatal shooting adds up to a rising rate of domestic violence-related incidents in the area. “If you have family that are unhappy in relationships, I urge you to stand by them,” Treshawnda said. “I wish I called my cousin. I wish I called her.”