DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Resident Veronica Galaviz, 38, spent Wednesday praying for officer Jillian Smith’s and Kimberly Carter’s families. The two were shot and killed by Barnes Nettles, 38, during a triple shooting in Arlington Tuesday night.
“It saddens me that this officer and mother lost their lives,” Galaviz said.
She can relate.
Galaviz was nearly murdered when her estranged husband broke into her home in April and set her house on fire before shooting himself.
“It was terrifying,” Galaviz said. “Especially knowing that I had done everything in my power to try to prevent that and going to the police and they would do nothing about it.”
Galaviz thinks in Carter’s case, Nettles’ extensive criminal history should have kept him locked up for good.
Barnes has a laundry list of criminal charges, dating back to a 1997 rape of a child. Last September, he grabbed Carter’s stepmother by the throat and threatened to kill her.
In 2003, Barnes put a gun to an unnamed ex-girlfriend’s temple in Washington State and threatened to pull the trigger. And the year before, he tossed a puppy off a second floor balcony as a way to get back at his significant other, police records show.
“It just shows it’s a really hard thing to get away from,” said Paige Flink with The Family Place in Dallas “You have to look for the red flags.”
The organization provides safe housing and counseling for victims of violence.
Recently, Flink said the organization has noticed a spike in the number of women needing help, especially in the long term.
“We can help with rental assistance, we can help with finding a job we can help with daycare and school for the children she doesn’t have to do it by herself,” Flink said.
Galaviz is also behind a non-profit of her own called Living To Share.
She’s trying to raise awareness about domestic violence and encourage women in trouble to get help.
“Don’t lose your faith! Stay strong, and most of all, keep yourself safe,” Galaviz said.