A 10-year-old girl, her grandmother and the family dog have been shot dead by their neighbor on a drug-fueled rampage before he killed himself.
Aubrianna Lynn and Kim Fairbanks, 52, were shot by 34-year-old Victor Nieves after he went on a cocaine binge in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday.
Fairbanks died after she was hit in the head, while Aubrianna battled for her life until she died in hospital on Thursday.
Nieves, who lived in the apartment above the family, also shot Aubrianna’s 12-year-old sister, who survived, and killed the family dog before shooting himself dead.
Aubrianna’s grieving mother took to Facebook to grieve the loss of her daughter and mother, saying ‘it doesn’t feel real’ and ‘I will never understand’.
The horror began at 2:30pm on Monday when Nieves became paranoid and started acting erratically during a drug binging session, his girlfriend Monica Sanchez said.
Sanchez said she called the children’s mother Stephanie Croteau shortly before the attack to tell her Nieves was acting crazy and had headed downstairs.
According to Sanchez, Croteau told her that she would contact her mother, but than she ‘heard gunshots and ran outside.’ Neighbors said Sanchez yelled out for help.
Police said one of the children called 911 from inside the house and police were at the home at 174 Berkshire Avenue in minutes.
Once they entered the first floor apartment they found the terrified bloodied children hiding in a bedroom.
Aubrianna had been shot in the chest and was airlifted to Boston’s Children’s Hospital where she remained in critical condition until she died on Thursday.
A 12-year-old girl was shot in the abdomen and was in stable condition at Baystate Medical Center. A five-year-old boy escaped with no injury.
‘The oldest girl, when she came out with blood all over her,’ Sanchez said.
‘She said ”Victor shot us, and he shot himself”. So I ran back inside and saw him on the floor, and I just fell down.’
Stephanie Croteau broke down over the loss of her mom and daughter on social media during the week.
On Wednesday, when her daughter’s condition was dire she wrote: ‘I never imagined I would have had to bury one of my children,’ alongside a collage of photos.
When death came on Thursday, ‘it was peaceful’ and without ‘any pain’ and in the presence of family, Croteau posted. ‘I love you my fierce girl. You were a warrior.’
She added on Saturday: ‘My mother and my daughter were murdered. They were f***ing murdered.
‘I have to keep saying it, to believe it actually happened. It doesn’t feel real. And I just am not here. Mentally. Emotionally. I will never understand.’
Natasha Lopez, a family friend, created a GoFundMe for the family, saying: ”With a heavy heart, I am updating the original post.