Police say their mother, /*Aida Mendez*/, 23, shot them to death after investigators say she smoked meth and went on a shooting rampage. She also shot and killed her cousin, Paul Medina, and seriously injured her common law husband.
One well known criminologist believes this mother had some deep issues that clearly became too much. He says she probably felt like she was actually protecting her children by taking their lives and then her own.
Family members gave Action News the first look at the precious smiles of two children tragically murdered Sunday morning.
Criminologist Eric Hickey has studied the minds of killers for years. He says it's obvious Aide Mendez had deep internal conflict when she snapped.
Police say Mendez also took a video of herself smoking methamphetamine with her cousin, Paul Medina shortly before the murder suicide. Medina was also shot and killed.
Dr. Eric Hickey said, "Meth doesn't make you kill people, it makes it easier. But it doesn't make you kill people. It has to be other issues, underlying issues and I suspect there were some very large family issues going on perhaps between the husband and wife that sort of sparked this."
Neighbors and friends are still leaving reminders of the tragedy outside the apartment where many neighbors woke up to gunfire.
Aide Mendez did not have a criminal history.
Tuesday, Mendez' sister told Action News the pain of what's happened is unbearable. She said she would like to thank the community for their love during this difficult time.
Based on reports from neighbors, Mendez and her common law husband were arguing constantly in days leading up to the tragedy. Dr. Eric Hickey believes the way she attacked him was especially personal.
Dr. Eric Hickey said, "She could have just shot him several times and been done with it, but she attacked him with a knife as well and that's showing a lot of anger and rage toward him."
Eduardo Lopez is the common law husband and father of the children. He is expected to be told about the tragedy Tuesday, January 17, 2012. He is in serious condition at Community Regional Medical Center.