It was a shocking discovery outside of an apartment complex. The bodies of two people were found shot to death in northwest Austin. Police say it started as a domestic disturbance but quickly turned deadly.
Police say a relationship filled with violence ended with two lives lost.
"Unfortunately, sometimes people don't want to leave a time of crisis in their life or don't know how to, and it ends up in a situation that is far worse than they could ever expect," said Officer Surei Scanlon, Austin Police Department.
The deadly gunfire happened at the Gables Grandview Apartments on 360, near 2222. The Austin Police Department was called out Sunday night after receiving a report of a disturbance involving a gun.
On arrival, they found the bodies of a 29-year-old white woman and a 41-year-old white man outside of one of the apartments. Both appeared to have died from gunshot wounds.
"We don't ever want it to come to this. There are plenty of places for people to go and plenty of people for them to reach out to," said Scanlon.
The couple reportedly had a history of dating violence, which hits close to home for Courtney Sanchez, who was in a similar situation about ten years ago.
"We were going to talk about rebuilding our family because I had two small children. My heart was, I want to make this work. Well during our conversation, I picked up his coat and a gun fell out," said Courtney Sanchez, domestic violence survivor.
At that point, her life flashed before her eyes. She left and has never looked back, which is a decision she is proud of today.
"This is not just a decision for myself and my relationship, it is now about my two children that could potentially be in danger because I continue to be with somebody that can't control their anger," said Sanchez.
She says getting out of a domestic violence relationship is not easy, for her it took about three years to recover.
"Please work on an exit plan. Start putting your documents together. Start finding where the birth certificates are. Start organizing yourself so that when you leave, if the shelter is full and you’re not able to get to emergency services, you're at least able to call family or friends," said Sanchez.
Police are still investigating Sunday night's deaths. They also hope anyone currently in a violent relationship will speak up and contact them.
Looking at statistics from APD, it seems that we are seeing a small decline in the number of family violence related arrests:
If you are victim of domestic violence or in an abusive relationship, police urge you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.?