Oak Forest City Hall candlelight vigil honors mother, 2 children killed in murder-suicide

Cate Cauguiran Image
Monday, September 26, 2022
Father of Oak Forest murder-suicide victims says it was preventable
Oak Forest City Hall hosted a candlelight vigil to honor Lupe Gomez, Briana Rodriguez and Emilio Rodriguez, killed in a murder-suicide Friday,

OAK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- A candlelight vigil honored a mother and two children who were shot and killed Friday in Oak Forest in a murder-suicide.

Lupe Gomez, 43, and her children Briana Rodriguez, 22, and Emilio Rodriguez, 20, were killed outside their home on Ann Marie Lane Friday, according to police. Then police said Gomez's husband Carlos, who was the children's stepfather, barricaded himself inside the home, set it on fire, and was later found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

RELATED: 4 people killed in Oak Forest shooting, barricade situation, fire caught on neighbor's Ring camera

"I'm broken. I miss them," said Jorge Rodriguez, Briana and Emilio's father. "They were great kids. They're my life. Now, I can't right now, like my soul is not here."

Rodriguez said he had plans to pick up his son this past Saturday.

"I was supposed to pick Emilio up to go driving. I was going to teach them how to drive," he said.

Rodriguez's fiancée recalled Briana's selfless life goals.

"Briana's dream was to take up sign language because she wanted to teach children that were disabled," Dawn Guerrero said. "Because that's how big her heart was."

"I miss my babies and I want answers," Rodriguez said.

Oak Forest police said officers had responded to the home at least seven times, including Friday's deadly disturbance.

"It's just a travesty," Guerrero said. "All the way around. We wish this never happened. We seen the signs; it was preventable and nobody stopped it."

Gomez's brother Pedro Villanueva said he is now caring for the couple's youngest teenage daughters.

"After what happened, I have it in my mind, like, who would've done that to some innocent people," Villanueva said.

A neighbor said he witnessed a man shooting his family members outside his home before barricading himself inside and setting the home on fire.

WATCH | Deadly Oak Forest shootings, fire caught on doorbell camera

One neighbor's Ring camera captured what appeared to be a man shooting his family members before barricading himself inside his home.

"Maybe if the kids wouldn't lived out here with the mom, or maybe if they were with my uncle - maybe it would have been a different story. They would've been, probably, alive and this wouldn't have happened," Villanueva said.

An online fundraiser is also helping to raise money for the victims' funerals.