Investigators say the woman was a longtime victim of domestic abuse and that her husband admitted he’s struggled with mental illness.
An Arizona mother and her 11-year-old daughter are dead after being shot and killed by their husband and father. FOX News in Phoenix reports that a lengthy history of domestic violence and possible mental illness led to the tragedy.
Per Phoenix Police, the incident happened just before 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4. Louis Mouton III, 34, reportedly went to speak with his estranged wife, Lanae Mouton, 32, at her home about the state of their relationship. Lanae walked back into the house with their 11-month-old daughter Ava after the conversation ended. Thatâ€™s when investigators say Louis did the unthinkable.
“The male kicked in the door and fired several shots. The female and their 11-month-old child both were struck,” Sgt. Vincent Cole said. The victims were transported to a nearby hospital where they died from their injuries.
“The loss of a child…many of the first responders you see out here, we’re fathers and mothers ourselves,” Sgt. Cole continued. “So dealing with something like that, it can be a life-changing traumatic event for first responders.”
Louis was arrested near the scene of the crime and immediately booked. He’s now facing burglary charges, along with first-degree murder charges. His bail is set at $2 million.
One neighbor says she saw no signs of anything amiss in the family.
“Itâ€™s sad. The wife used to bring us milk and cereal and stuff like that. I used to talk to her husband,” the neighbor told reporters.
According to AZFamily, the couple were high school sweethearts who had been together for more than 16 years and shared four children.
But Louisâ€™ suspected mental illness is believed to be a contributing factor. When police discovered him at the scene of the crime, they said he was yelling that â€œthey made him do it.â€�
“Louis admitted afterwards he attempted to shoot himself and commit suicide but the handgun was empty,” court documents read. “Louis exited the apartment and was contacted by responding officers in the parking lot. Louis told investigators he suffered from schizophrenia.
“He saw and heard spirits and aliens and was frequently possessed by them. They used his body to do actions he could not control. Louis said he made a deal with a spirit that he and his wife could be together forever but they had to die.”
He also told investigators that his wife was supposed to die but his daughter was not, adding that he â€œdidn’t agree to his daughter being killed in the deal he made with the spirit.â€�
Family members say Louis was abusive. Lanaeâ€™s brother, Robert Wheatley, told reporters heâ€™s dealing with a number of emotions.
“Itâ€™s anger. It was pain. When they told me that she was shot, it was fear,” he said. “What else could I have done? What could we have done different? Where could we have had more impact?”
They also say Louis never took no for an answer. “He always needed one more talk. There was nothing left to talk about, but he always needed one more talk, and she always let him have one more talk,” Lanae’s mother Kathy Wheatley said.
Itâ€™s been a difficult situation for Lanaeâ€™s twin sister, Lauren Riley, to accept.
“It was hard. I just laid down on the floor. I couldnâ€™t even stand up. Couldn’t process it, couldnâ€™t believe it. Itâ€™s a lot, you know. She’s always been a part of me,” she said.
Lanae’s family told AZFamily that they hoped her death might help other women trapped in the cycle of domestic violence and other familes who see it going on.
“‘It’s their relationship. We’re not going to get in the middle of it,’” a family member said. “No, we got to get in the middle of it. We have to stop this type of behavior.”
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