ROWLETT, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Rowlett Police say a father shot his 11-year-old son before killing himself. The son, James Gonzalez later died at the hospital.
Police said officers responded to the scene around 11:00 p.m. Saturday after they got a call from the father’s wife, who is the boy’s stepmother.
The woman told police her husband, identified as 41-year-old Policarpo Gonzalez-Flores, called her and said he had shot his son. She said she then heard a second shot on the phone.
When officers arrived, they found the father dead, but the son was still alive and was transported to the hospital. The boy later died from his injuries.
Policarpo Gonzalez-Flores was a plumber. Police said he had been having trouble in his marriage and believe he was in a fight with his wife prior to the murder-suicide.
James attended Coyle Middle School, and neighbors said their hearts hurt for him.
“To find out the boy was only 11 years old… that really saddens our hearts that that had to happen,” said one neighbor.
Police believe the couple was having trouble in their marriage. However, they said they had no prior contact with the couple. Child Protective Services also has no record of the father.
The community mourned the loss of the 11-year-old with a candlelight vigil Sunday evening. They shared their stories of James.
“He would help anybody and do anything you needed. He was my water boy. He went and got my mug filled every single morning and if I forgot, he reminded me,” said Kimberlie Hawkes, James’ fourth and fifth grade teacher.
Thirteen-year-old Cody Stewart brought a football he and James would toss around at the park.
“I thought it would be something cool to use at the memorial,” Stewart said.
Stewart said James loved sport, especially football and soccer. At the vigil, Stewart had James’ friends sign the football he brought. He then gave it to James’ family.
“They said it was a thoughtful thing to do,” Stewart said.
Garland ISD released the following statement:
“We are deeply saddened about the tragic events leading to the passing of Coyle Middle School student James Gonzalez. Garland ISD district and campus counselors will be available beginning today and throughout the week to provide support to students and staff. Our heartfelt sympathies are with this family and everyone at the campus who knew and loved James. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers as they and our school community mourn this terrible loss.”