UPDATE: Attempted Murder-Suicide in Visalia

July 23, 2009 9:54:12 AM PDT
Police say a recent break-up may have lead to an attempted murder and suicide in Visalia.22-year old Salena Gonzalez, is still in critical condition on life support at Kaweah Delta Medical Center. Police say she was shot as a result of a domestic violence dispute.

Police believe 23-year old Earl Mitchell used a handgun to try and kill his ex-girlfriend, Salena Gonzalez, before turning the gun on himself.

A bullet hole through the bedroom window can be seen from the street. A friend of Mitchell who lived close by says she was shocked when she heard what happened. She described Mitchell as a mild-mannered, friendly person.

"Very, very very terrible ... I couldn't believe it when I heard it. I know Earl personally- real good guy, hard worker um just a nice, all around guy," said Dolores Baker.

Salena Gonzalez remains in critical condition at Kaweah Delta Medical Center after police say Mitchell shot her in the head before using the gun to kill himself.

Visalia Police say the couple had lived together for four years in Goshen and had recently separated. Earl Mitchell moved in with a friend on Sunnyside Avenue in Visalia but the two still shared custody of their one and a half year old son. On Tuesday afternoon Gonzalez came by the apartment to pick up her son.

Lt. Ed Lynn said, "The child was out in the car waiting with another relative. Mitchell called Gonzalez back inside the residence at that time wanted to talk to her some more went inside the house and that's when witnesses heard the gunshots."

Flowers were left on the front doorstep of the apartment where the shooting happened.

"You would never think anything would come to this, you know, no matter what someone's going through in their relationship," said Baker.

Police are still looking into Mitchell's criminal past and whether he had a history of domestic violence.

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