A South Bay family says they're feeling pain and disbelief after their sister was killed by her estranged husband right in front of her children.
Police say Erica Chanon Hernandez was killed by her estranged husband at her North San Jose apartment early Sunday morning. Police say the husband then killed a security guard who came to help before turning the gun on himself.
"We still can't believe what happened," said Erica's sister, Maria Isabel Chanon. "This morning, I was going to call my sister and I'm going to tell her, 'Hey, let's go do this,' but then I realized that she’s no longer with us."
Maria and her sister, Georgina Chanon, said Erica was a loving mother of six – ranging in age from 1 to 10 years old – who worked long hours to provide for her children.
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The sisters said Erica's estranged husband was abusive and should have been locked up a long time ago, adding that the system failed her.
"We always told her to go get help, get help, get help," Maria said.
San Jose police said the husband, who hasn't been identified by the coroner, was on their radar and that the courts had served him several times with stay-away orders, but he didn't stay away.
Officers are starting a fund to help the family.
"It’s not just about the upcoming funeral expenses," San Jose police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said. "It’s about taking care of six kids for a long time."
Georgina said she's going to do her best to take care of the children.
"I’m going to step up and be there for them because I know right now they need all the support they can get," she said.
Maria added that the family will "get through this."
"We’re all here," she said. "We’re all going to work together. We're all going to be here for them, whatever it takes. We’re going to be here and be with them, take care of them. Now we’re their mom."
The San Jose Police Officers' Association has opened up its donations to help support the family. Visit sjpoa.com for more information. Anyone donating will have to make sure "Victims' Assistance - 6 Children" is selected.