‘Now they have no father, no mother, no brother and sister’: Uncle tends to surviving children in deadly shootout in Oak Forest, barricade situation

OAK FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — After a mother and her two children are shot and killed outside their family home in Oak Forest, their uncle takes over looking after the mother’s two surviving children.

CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek spoke with the man whose sister was killed on Friday, and he said the only thing stronger than his sadness is his shock.

Nick Navarez is the younger brother of Lupe Gomez, who was a mother of four. When she and two of her children were shot and killed outside their home, Navarez received a call from one of her nieces saying she needed help. It was around 6:45 a.m. Friday morning.

“She Facetimed me and when she Facetimed me I saw flames coming out the window and I was in shock,” he said.

Navarez immediately left work and went to Ann Marie Lane’s house where he had recently lived with his sister’s family. By the time he arrived, the neighborhood was blocked off by police, firefighters and SWAT. Oak Forest Police said two people were found shot dead in the driveway of the house and one in the street just to the south. They said the suspected shooter, Carlos Gomez Jr., 44, was found dead inside the home after the fire was extinguished.

Navarez said her two youngest nieces, Gomez’s two biological children, survived. One escaped before the shooting and the other was removed from the house later.

“Thank you to the neighbor who opened the door for my niece. Otherwise she probably would have died too,” Navarez said.

He shared a photo of his sister’s family. We see Lupe, 43, with her four children. Emilio Rodriquez, 20, and Briana Rodriquez, 22, children from a previous marriage, were both victims of Friday’s horror. Navarez said they were good kids and recent high school graduates. He described them as innocent and close to their younger siblings.

“They were working,” he said. “Always stayed home. Not the kids who stayed out, they were always home after work doing chores. I lived with them so I know how they were doing.”

Navarez described his sister’s relationship with Gomez Jr. as “poor. He said she was getting ready to leave.

“I feel like he lost control of her, and that’s what did because she had lawyers involved, paperwork. She was ready to go,” a- he declared.

And then it happened, a nightmare he says he can’t wake up from.

“It’s really tough. I try to be strong for my nieces,” he said. “Now they don’t have a father, mother, brother or sister. Now I have to take matters into my own hands and try to be there for them. It’s going to be a big change. With the help of everyone, I think it’s possible.”

Navarez said he now has two nieces in his care. He said a niece turned 13 on Saturday. The other is only 15 years old.

He started a GoFundMe on Friday night to help support his family during this time.


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