A Florida elementary school teacher could only watch in horror as her student's mother was shot and killed during a Zoom lesson.
The incident unfolded just after 8am on Tuesday, August 11, in Indiantown. At the time, an unnamed 10-year-old girl inside the home was taking an online class for Warfield Elementary, echoing many schools' actions during the current pandemic.
However, the teacher had to watch as a 'domestic altercation' emerged from behind the scenes. Soon after, the young girl's mother was shot dead.
Donald J Williams was taken into custody the same day in connection with 32-year-old Maribel Rosado-Morales' death, facing charges of first-degree murder along with other felony offences, according to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. It is believed the pair had previously dated, and the shooting came after an argument.
As per NBC News, Snyder said at a news conference that the girl's teacher witnessed the child reacting to the shooting. 'The teacher's online – I've never done a Zoom with children, so I'm picturing there's other children on – and the teacher can see the children,' he said.
The sheriff added: 'He went in and confronted her with something to do with a video. And then later we learned there was a conversation about Facebook. He said she actually started to smile at him and he became enraged and shot her.'
Rosado-Morales was shot multiple times and later died in hospital. There were six children in the house at the time of the incident, four of whom are Rosado-Morales' children and two cousins – thankfully, none were injured.
The sheriff added that he thinks most, if not all of the children watched the shooting.
A spokesperson for Martin County School District said: 'Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and children who were witnesses to this heartbreaking and senseless tragedy.'
The district added that grief counselors will be on hand for students and staff following the shooting, saying: 'The incident is still under active investigation by law enforcement, and we will continue to respect the privacy of the teacher and our students.'
Williams had initially fled the scene, but was caught by police after a bus driver called 911. Once a gun was found in a bag on the bus, the suspect reportedly 'made a full confession'. There had also been reports of domestic violence in the home previously, but the sheriff explained it didn't appear to be an 'ongoing problem'.
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