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Murder-suicide victim still 'critical'

7:34 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Hospital officials say a little girl is still in critical condition as of Thursday after being wounded in a murder-suicide on Wednesday in northeast Denver, which left a mom and her two other children dead.

Mayra Nunez, 23, shot her kids and then herself near East 49th Avenue and Pearl Street.

Navaeh Morales, 6, and Eric Perez, 1, were dead when police arrived. Isabel Perez, 2, was alive, barely.

A coroner's report states Navaeh died of multiple gunshot wounds. Eric died of a single gunshot wound. Mayra's death was ruled a suicide.

During a press conference Thursday, Denver Health doctors updated the media on Isabel's condition.

"She's in a deep coma, and we're working with our surgeons to keep her supported at this point," Dr. Claudia Kunrath said.

A benefit fund has been set up on behalf of Isabel.

Donations can be made starting Friday and addressed to:

Isabel Perez Benefit Fund at Wells Fargo
Account number: 6257187770
Routing number to wire funds: 121000248

BACKGROUND

Family members say Nunez's husband Ricky Perez came to their Pearl Street home just before 7 a.m. Wednesday to check on his wife and kids.

PHOTOS: Fatal shooting in NE Denver

Brother-in-law Tony Nunez says Perez called to let him know he was spending the night with a friend, after getting into a disagreement with his wife.

I know last night they were having a little argument," Nunez said.

Nunez says he called to check on his sister, Mayra.

"And I told her, you want me to go get you? [She said] no, no we're fine. Just a married couple thing," Nunez said.

He never imagined it would be their last conversation.

9NEWS was with Nunez when he got the phone call from his Perez confirming the worst.

"She shot the kids," Perez said.

According to Nunez, the oldest and youngest children died of gunshot wounds.

Denver Police and Fire dispatch recordings from Wednesday morning shortly before 7 a.m. describe the scene inside the house.

"A father is hysterical crying but he says the 2-year-old is still breathing," the dispatcher said. "[It] sounds like it's a mom that shot a couple of her kids and possibly herself. Police are pulling up on scene now."

Later in the recording, a dispatcher references the one surviving child, Isabella.

"One child is crying and breathing. Possibly shot in the head," the dispatcher said.

The medical examiner arrived on scene late Wednesday afternoon.

Denver police opened up Pearl Street around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening after 11 hours of collecting evidence from the crime scene, described by Denver Police Commander Ron Saunier as "horrific."

Seasoned officers, including Police Chief Robert White, were visibly emotional as they relayed information to reporters throughout the day.

Late Wednesday evening, friends and neighbors gathered for a vigil at the Globeville Community Church for the two children killed and a third who's struggling to stay alive.

Neighbors are turning to each other for strength, as the shock wears off and grief sets in.

Fighting back tears, Nunez wonders what would have happened had he stopped by to check on his sister, nieces, and nephews.

"Maybe I should have done it. Maybe it would have changed things. I feel like I failed her," Nunez said.

Nunez says the family moved to Denver from El Paso, Texas a couple of years ago looking for better jobs. Neveah had just started school.

Nunez says the family kept a handgun in their home for protection.

"I just want everybody to know that she was not a bad person or my brother in law. They were just like any other couple. They had good days and bad days," Tony said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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