FORT WORTH, Texas - Police say a Fort Worth man confronted his estranged wife Wednesday morning before shooting and killing her and then himself.
Family says Blanca Vargas was, 44, at that home to pick up some children to take them to school. That's where Rodolfo Vargas, 48, shot her.
The shooting happened in the middle of their street. Police arrived at the scene in the 3800 block of Ryan Avenue around 8 a.m. and found a man and a woman shot to death. People watched for hours as it became clear that the trouble inside a neighbor’s house had suddenly boiled over.
Rodolfo Vargas Jr. watched as his father’s body lay on the pavement and his mother’s body still in the SUV — a bitter end to a history of domestic violence in their home.
"She was always protecting us no matter what,” he recalled. “She always had our back ever since we were little growing up."
Rodolfo says his father was strict and had moved out of the house. He says his mom was taking her 8-year-old daughter and two other children to school. She was parked in front of a neighbor's house when his dad approached her, and the two began arguing.
The family says all three children were in the SUV with Blanca when she was shot. The children were not harmed. As the family grieves, they must also console his little sister.
"My wife went over after the shots were fired,” recalled neighbor Jeremy Ogeda. “One of the kids said she didn't know what she was going to do without her mom."
“She's the one that saw everything. Now, she's all shaken jump about it,” Rodolfo said. “She was always scared of my dad after what happened a couple of months ago."
Police said there was a history of domestic violence at the Vargas home. The most recent trouble was on Sept. 15. A police report says Rodolfo Sr. tried to suffocate Blanca. Police were called, and a protective order was issued.
Blanca changed her name on Facebook to Blanca Castanon and listed her status as "separated," ready to move her family past the fears of domestic violence. But in the end, she was unable to break free.
The protective order forbid Rodolfo Sr. from coming around his wife and from having a gun. The family says Blanca had been stalked by her estranged husband in the last couple of days.