Man arrested in ‘savage, brutal’ murder of woman in driveway of Brockton home

BROCKTON, Mass. — A Brockton woman was found brutally murdered in the driveway of her Crescent Street home on Wednesday afternoon, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz announced.

Veronica Goncalves, 48, was the victim of a “targeted attack” by a person she had been in a relationship with for several years, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said while speaking to reporters at the crime scene on Wednesday afternoon.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., Cruz announced that the suspect in Goncalves’ death was in custody while in critical condition at a hospital. Cruz identified the suspect as 56-year-old Joao Correia.

“This appears to have been a targeted attack and not a random act of violence. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. This is a savage, brutal incident. This woman did not deserve this,” Cruz said.

Pedro Rosario, the victim’s nephew, told Boston 25 that the family is in a state of shock.

“A very wonderful mom, definitely a strong independent woman, who’s been in this country not for so long, only been here for a couple years – kind hearted,” said Rosario. “We’re all in a state of shock that someone would do this to her is beyond belief, we’re just trying to put the pieces together.”

Rosario also told Boston 25 that Goncalves was killed in front of her two-year-old grandchild, but police have not confirmed those details yet.

The Goncalves and her alleged attacker “were not strangers,” Cruz said, adding that police believe there was a prior relationship for several years before she was murdered.

Officers responded to 342 Crescent St. on the city’s East Side at approximately 1:00 p.m. after receiving a report of an unconscious person.

When officers arrived, they found the woman lying on the ground in the driveway with obvious trauma to head and face area, Cruz said. She was pronounced dead at scene.

An investigation is ongoing.

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