One neighbor said she heard a single gunshot, and then seconds later, a loud scream from a little girl. Investigators have confirmed a young girl was in the same room when her mother was shot, allegedly by her boyfriend. They also say her oldest son held his mother as she lay dying.
On Thursday night, Harris County Sheriff's investigators say Alma Canales, 39, and at least two of her five children were at home inside a northeast Harris County house on Graycliff near Lorne. Canales' nine-year old was in the same room with her mother preparing for bed when authorities say Canales got into a dispute with her boyfriend, Mauricio Izaguirre. That's when authorities say he pulled out a gun and shot the mother right in front of her young daughter.
"They will be traumatized," said neighbor Tonya Klouatre.
Authorities say Izaguirre then took off on foot, leaving his car behind, and according to investigators, leaving the victim's 18-year-old son holding his wounded mother in his arms.
Neighbors remember the mother who had plans to start her own flower business.
"She was a real sweet person," said neighbor Fred Wright.
They can't help but think about her children.
"What happened with those kids, they have got to live with that for the rest of their lives," said one neighbor.
Klouatre said, "Knowing that he is not caught, the kids are going to be more traumatized with him still being free and out there. So he needs to be caught."
Izaguirre is believed to be in his early to mid-20s. Authorities say he has a number of aliases. They have confiscated his car, left behind at the murder scene, but they are still looking for him.
This case is being investigated by the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Mauricio Izaguirre and/or this shooting is asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 713-967-5810 or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).