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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Man shot mother, killed 3 children, before killing himself

On Monday evening, George Daniel Wechsler, 45, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s Four Hills home and waited for her to return with her three children, ages 5 to 9. When they arrived home, Wechsler shot them and then himself

Three angels holding hands is part of the growing memorial on the lawn and driveway of the Four Hills home where police say a man shot and killed three children and critically injured their mother before killing himself Monday evening. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

One of the children died at the scene; the other two died at the hospital or in the ambulance. Their mother was still in critical condition Wednesday. Wechsler was unconscious by the time officers arrived and died at the hospital from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It is unclear exactly what led Wechsler to do what he did, but a police spokesman said the mother had recently ended their brief relationship and told him to stay away from her and her children. She didn’t want him to give the children Christmas presents.
Police said the 36-year-old mother did everything she could do to save her children.
She was returning to her Four Hills home Monday evening with her three kids – two boys aged 5 and 9, and a girl, 6 – when confronted by an intruder who had broken in. He was the woman’s ex-boyfriend, and he had a gun.
He opened fire on all four, then shot himself.
By the time officers arrived, the mother had pulled one of her children from the house.
“We know that the mother was attempting rescue on one of the children while she was critically injured herself,” Police Chief Gorden Eden said during a Tuesday morning news conference.
It was not enough.
The mother’s Facebook page shows photo after photo of her and her smiling children. One depicts the youngsters grinning behind three giant pumpkins. They are playing sports, and often hamming it up for the camera.
The mother and the children’s father divorced in 2015, according to court records. The father appeared to remain very active in his kids’ lives, and he and the children’s mother had a friendly relationship on social media.
Mayor Richard Berry asked the community to come together and pray for the mother and the family.
We lost three of our angels in a senseless and tragic act of violence last night,” he said.
The killer
Duran said that last month Wechsler told a friend and officers that he was suicidal. He was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation, but Duran said the medical results will not be released.
In 2003, he pleaded guilty and no contest to charges of misdemeanor stalking and petty misdemeanor assault against a family member for allegedly harassing a woman, according to court records. Duran said the victim in that case was not the same woman who was shot Monday. And in August 2015 he got in a physical fight with his brother and was issued a summons, according to Duran.
Otherwise, Wechsler had a scant criminal history, Duran said.
“He does not have any felony history that we were able to find as of yet,” he said. “Our detectives are still working on finding out more about the offender, more about who he is and trying to find out what happened that night.”
Although officials haven’t said which school the children attended, Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Monica Armenta said resources are available to APS students.
“To my knowledge, we’ve never experienced the loss of three young students in one day,” she said.
The victims’ family asked that the public respect their privacy.

‘We lost three of our angels’ Elise Kaplan, Robert Browman and Nicole Perez / Journal Staff Writers December 6th, 2016 

Investigators have revealed the names of the children who were killed in a Monday night shooting in Four Hills. 

The victims have been identified as 5-year-old Elijah Mascarenas, 6-year-old Olivia Mascarenas, and 9-year-old Ian Mascarenas

Authorities say their mother, Cheryl Mascarenas, was shot multiple times as she fought to protect her children.  She remains in critical condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital. 

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family: https://www.gofundme.com/ioe-memorial-fund

APD releases names of victims in Four Hills shooting Kenneth Mahan December 08, 2016

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