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What you need to know for 10/18/2017

Woman found dead after calling dispatch during break-in

Woman found dead after calling dispatch during break-in

In the 911 call, Marissa Hope Reynoso told a dispatcher that she needed help, immediately.
Woman found dead after calling dispatch during break-in
Jorge Luis Chavez
Photographer: Lexington County Sheriff's Office

In the 911 call, Marissa Hope Reynoso told a dispatcher that she needed help, immediately.

"He is like busting through the window," the 26-year-old mother said in the call, which was obtained by The State, a newspaper in Columbia, S.C. "I need an officer here like, right now."

The dispatcher then asked Reynoso if weapons were involved.

"He's busting into my window right now," Reynoso responded. She later told the dispatcher that the man, whom she described as her boyfriend, probably had access to weapons.

"He's coming in the house right now," she said, her voice sounding a bit more frantic. But as the dispatcher urged Reynoso to go into a room and shut the door, screams could be heard on the call.

"Ma'am?" the dispatcher said. "Hello?"

Reynoso on Sunday was one of four people who died in what authorities have called an apparent murder-suicide at a South Carolina home. She and two of her children, 4-year-old Elijah Chavez and 1-year-old Ezra Chavez, were fatally shot, according to The State.

Their bodies were discovered in a bedroom of a rental house on Old Barnwell Road, the newspaper reported. In the same bedroom, investigators also located the body of Jorge Luis Chavez, the man believed to be the gunman in the killings.

Jay Koon, Lexington County sheriff, said in a statement posted to Twitter that investigators believe Chavez fatally shot Reynoso, as well as their two children, Elijah and Ezra, before turning the handgun on himself.

"Chavez tried to enter the home Sunday night through a window and eventually shot his way into a back door as [Reynoso] called 911 to report a burglary in progress," the statement read.

Koon's statement on Twitter noted that the gun Chavez used in the fatal shooting had been reported stolen several years ago. It is unclear how Chavez obtained it. Deputies responded to the home within a minute of Reynoso's 911 call, according to Koon's statement, and "immediately began to pursue leads."

"Sunday night's incident on Old Barnwell Road is a tragedy," Koon said in the statement. "We offer our heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones as a result of this senseless act."

Authorities had been to the home in November and earlier in December, according to incident reports released by the Lexington County Sheriff's Office. On Nov. 14, authorities received a report of a suicidal person, an officer reported.

Reynoso told a deputy that Chavez had been in the driveway of the home earlier. She told deputies that he said to her, "I can't do this anymore I'll see you in heaven," then showed her a rope that was in the front seat of a vehicle. Then Chavez drove away, Reynoso said.

About a month later, on Dec. 12, a deputy again responded to the home and spoke with Reynoso. She said she and Chavez had broken up about two months earlier, ending their five-year relationship. Reynoso said the couple had two children, according to the report, and had started to see each other so that the kids could see their father.

But Reynoso told authorities that Chavez appeared unannounced at the home that night, according to an incident report. She alleged that he knocked on the window and wanted her to come outside and talk about their relationship. He wouldn't leave, she said, so she called 911.

Incident reports spell Reynoso's first name as "Mariassa," but a coroner's office report spelled her name as "Marissa."

The State reported details from the 911 call from Sunday's fatal incident:

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Reynoso was urged by the dispatcher to gather her children and go into another room just before screams broke out within a minute of the start of the call for help. The recording made public does not capture the sound of gunfire.

The remainder of the 8 1/2 -minute recording is largely inaudible as the dispatcher kept trying to get Reynoso back on the line.

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Elijah Chavez was shot in the back, the Lexington County coroner's office said in a report. His brother Ezra was shot in the chest. Reynoso suffered a gunshot wound to the back. Jorge Chavez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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