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Police: Children witness their mother being shot and killed by husband

November 14, 2011|By Ryan Johnson & Kim Hynes & Denise Hnytka | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
Eyewitness News Reporter Melody Pettit

(WICHITA, Kan.) — "She was just lying in the street, my grandkids were begging him not to shoot her, but he did anyway," said a tearful JoAnn Lindsey.

Lindsey went to go pick up her grandkids but when she arrived she found their mother dead in the street.

"The kids were running down the street holding each other hands hollering and screaming," she said.

Flowers, stuffed bears, and messages still cling to a pole outside the house left from a candle light vigil Sunday evening.

Police say it all started with an argument inside the house and ended in the street where a 28-year old man shot his wife, 32-year old Antonia Cratic-Woods three times all while three children just five, eight and ten years old watched.

"I'm looking at these kids crying all day long, it's heartbreaking and so sad," Lindsey said.

Cratic-Woods had nine children all now without a mother because of domestic violence.

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"We need the village, the village needs to come out and wrap around these children and this family," said CEO of Wichita's Health and Wellness Center Teresa Lovelady.

Community leaders are stepping up to help the children to give them support emotionally and financially.  

"We want these kids to know that even though their mom is not there for them, that this community is there for them," Lovelady said.

Friends and family admit it's going to take a lot of work for a long time.

"They're going to need a lot of help, a lot of prayers, they going to need that," Lindsey said.

Domestic violence experts are also talking about the crime. They want to help educate people about "breaking the cycle".

Police say Antonia Cratic-Woods mother was killed eleven years ago, also because of domestic violence. It happened on November 16, 2000. Michelle Scott was killed by her boyfriend. Police say a 13 year old boy witnessed the shooting.

Family members of Antonia say they knew there might be violence in the home, but say they knew Antonia had no plans to leave her husband.


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Original Story

Wichita police released more details Monday about a deadly shooting over the weekend at 13th and Grove.  They say the husband of 32-year-old Antonia Cratic-Woods shot her three times.  They say the shooting happened during an argument over property and relationship issues.

Watch: Melody Pettit at makeshift vigil for slain mother

Police say as the argument escalated, the husband chased Cratic-Woods into the street and shot her.  Three of her nine children were in the front yard, yelling for him to stop.  The 5,8 and 10 year old children then saw their mother get shot.  Police say the children are with family and are getting counseling.

Several witnesses also saw what happened.   They flagged down a police officer in the area and pointed out the 28-year-old suspect.  He still had the gun, police told him to put it down and he did.  That's when he was arrested.  Police say the two had been married about two years and had a history of domestic violence.

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