Mom: He Wouldn't Know Where to Go With the Kids if He Killed Me

David Mora opened fire during supervised visit at Sacramento church
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2022 9:04 AM CST
Mother of 3 Slain Children Lived in Fear of Their Father
A booking photo of David Mora from his Feb. 23 arrest.   (Merced County Sheriff's Office)

When she obtained a restraining order against David Mora in May last year, his estranged partner said he had physically abused her and she was afraid he would hurt her again. He ended up killing their three daughters in a Sacramento church Monday, along with a family friend supervising the visit, before taking his own life. In court documents seen by the New York Times, Illeana Gutierrez Rios said Mora had physically abused her over the previous 10 years, sometimes in the presence of their children. "He has not killed me because he would not know where to go with the children,” she said in the documents. "I am scared and nervous. I am afraid Respondent is going to hurt me."

Rios said she moved out of the home with the "scared and crying" children after Mora became aggressive during an argument in April about her plan to work cleaning homes instead of selling tamales. She said Mora had been talking about killing himself and after police were called, he was "admitted into the hospital for a week and treated for psychosis mental stability." She told the court she was worried about her safety and the safety of the children. Rios was granted a five-year restraining order against Mora. The Los Angeles Times reports that she also sought a restraining order for the girls, but the court granted him supervised visitation on the weekends.

The order allowed for the visits to be supervised by family friend and church official Nathaniel Kong, who was killed in Monday's shooting along with 13-year-old Samia, 10-year-old Samantha, and 9-year-old Samarah Mora Gutierrez. Police say Mora used an AR-15-style rifle he was not allowed to possess under the terms of the restraining order. Days earlier, he was arrested for allegedly driving drunk and assaulting a police officer but was released on bail after one night in jail. Community members held a vigil at the church on Tuesday, the Sacramento Bee reports. A GoFundMe fundraiser for funeral expenses has raised almost $60,000. (Read more California stories.)

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