Valerie Junius shot dead by Lawrence Reed, Katy, Texas husband as wife and mother of six was getting ready to leave her ‘abusive husband.’
A Texas man killed his wife and mother of six, after she threatened to leave him along with opening gunfire on two of her children as they tried to flee, cops say.
Lawrence Reed, 53, is charged with murdering his 36-year-old wife, Valerie Junius at their home in Katy, west of Houston, on July 29, police said.
He is also charged with shooting his wife’s 16-year-old son and her 20-year-old daughter as they tried to escape the home according to CHRON.
Both children were shot but survived, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stated.
Reed briefly barricaded himself inside the home when officers arrived but later surrendered, according to authorities. But there’s more.
Junius, who is survived by her six children aged between 4 and 20 years of age, had been on the phone with her mother Gloria when Reed opened fire on her, according to her family.
‘No mother should ever have to endure the pain and heartache of listening to their child be murdered while on the phone with her. We are left speechless and in shock,’ a GoFundMe page says.
Junius’ relatives say she was in the process of leaving Reed.
She had been staying with friends and family in her hometown of Chicago for the last month following ongoing domestic issues at home and only returned to Texas the day before she was gunned down.
‘She was going to leave him. She was tired,’ her cousin, Treshawnda Junius told ABC13.
‘He knew it was over when she stayed in Chicago for as long as she stayed.
‘He knew it was over. He killed her. He didn’t give her a chance.’
Rising instances of domestic violence
Reed upon his arrest was charged with murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
It was not immediately clear how many children Junius and Reed shared together.
Harris County Sheriff’s have reported an uptick in domestic violence and fatal domestic shootings in 2021.
‘It’s alarming. It’s disturbing,’ said Barbie Brashear, executive director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. “It matches what we are hearing nationally, that domestic violence is on the rise.”