A Texas man is accused of killing his common-law wife after their 3-year-old told police that "Daddy shot Mommy," according to a Wednesday report from KTRK-TV.
Authorities arrested 27-year-old Dabreon Banks on murder charges after he reported that his wife, 24-year-old Kimberly Hernandez, shot herself during an argument inside their Houston apartment last week.
The couple's 3-year-old and 20-month-old were inside the home when the shooting took place, according to a spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff's Office, having reportedly witnessed the death of their mother.
The fight reportedly broke out because Hernandez — who was soon due to graduate from nursing school — discovered concerning text messages on Banks' cell phone.
When officers responded to the scene, they discovered Hernandez dead from a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
Banks initially told responding officers that the two were "play fighting" when the gun went off, but quickly changed his story and said that she shot herself during an argument.
“Officers spoke with a juvenile eyewitness who told officers that ‘dad shot mom.’ She gestured with her hand as a pistol,” prosecutors said according to the station. “Officers spoke to another witness who stated that that same child told her, ‘Daddy shot mommy.'”
Banks is being held on a $75,000 bond.
Hernandez's father — who, along with his wife, now has custody of the couple's two young children — told the station that his daughter was always smiling and always happy.
"She was having problems with him," he admitted. "But she would always go back to him."
He recalled, "She was just here on Monday. She was playing with the kids. They called us in the middle of the night to tell us she was dead.”
Neighbors told police that they could hear screaming from the couple's apartment at least once per week.