Mother in critical condition, 2 children in DCF custody after Lawrence standoff

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Two children are in state custody and their mother is in critical condition at a local hospital after a standoff in Lawrence Tuesday.

Police said the 36-year-old mother was shot in the head by her boyfriend during the standoff. The boyfriend, later identified as 34-year-old Antonio Gonzalez, killed himself before officers rushed in.

The couple's four-year-old child was found wandering the hallway when police went inside. The couple's ten-year-old child was at school at the time. Both children are now in DCF custody.

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Mayor Daniel Rivera said officers responded to the scene around noon Tuesday for a report of shots fired on Melrose Street. He said responding officers were fired upon, and at least one officer returned fire.

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“Upon arrival officers were shot at. They were engaged by what looked like a lone suspect from a third-floor window. They returned gun fire and sought protection from behind their cruisers,” Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said.

The neighborhood was evacuated and two area schools -- The Guilmette School and the Hennessy School -- were on soft lockdown.

According to Mass. State Police, the barricaded suspect was armed with a "long gun" and there might have been other people in the house.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY REACT

“I don't know how he could do that. He didn't have no reason to do it. I know him and they were too nice,” Anthony Rodriguez, a friend of the couple, said.

A woman who said she was like a mother to the 36-year-old victim told FOX25 she knew the couple fought occasionally, but didn't know it was this bad.

“I always knew that he was always threatening her and stuff like that, always arguments between them and stuff like that, but we never thought he was going to be doing stuff like that,” that woman said.