An Arizona man is among those mourning his 6-year-old son and the child's mother, both of whom were shot and killed in the backyard of their Baldwin Park home.
The woman's 36-year-old live-in boyfriend is sought in connection with the slayings Sunday in the San Gabriel Valley community
"I'm destroyed," said Jonathon Jimenez as he shared photos of a smiling 6-year-old Angel. "I feel horrible."
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Jimenez said he feared for the safety of his former girlfriend and their son. Distance made it difficult for them to spend much time together, but he talked with them on the phone and usually received an angry response from the boyfriend, he said.
But Jimenez said he never suspected the aggressive behavior would come to this.
Angel was kindergartener at a school across the street from where he lived with his mother, 23-year-old Yesli Velazquez Gonzalez and her boyfriend, Rigoberto Covarrubias. Gonzalez worked as a classroom aide in the Baldwin Park School District.
A friend and colleague said Gonzalez always showed up to work happy.
"She had such a sweet disposition," said Claudia Barba, a friend and colleague. "She wanted to just help students.
"I'm angry that this man put her through so much, and she didn't deserve it. I wish that we could have all helped her."
Authorities said they are searching for Covarrubias in connection with the shooting deaths.
Gonzalez died at the scene of the shootings near Merced and Palm avenues. Angel died at a hospital.
Neighbors reported hearing the sound of several gunshots.
"I was in the front with my daughter and my wife and we just heard gunshots," said neighbor Brian Sanchez. "Like five of six gunshots. My dad came out to see what was going on, and the guy with the gun, he was talking to my dad, too, but he just told them to go inside there’s gunshots."
Sanchez said the man who spoke with his father left the scene in a car.
Anyone with information was asked to call detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.