Abuse center director shocked by recent acts of domestic violence

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) As 4-year-old Corden Fidler continues to fight to recover after he was severely wounded in a shooting in Temple in which his mother, Shelly Splittgerber, 36, and grandmother, Sherry Gray, 64, were killed, advocates are reiterating their advice to domestic abuse victims to get out of danger while they can.

Kathy Reid, executive director of the Family Abuse Center in Waco. (Photo by Bill Gowdy)

Matthew Splittgerber opened fire on his estranged wife and her son, as they left their house early on Dec. 20 across from Lamar Middle School in Temple.

He then killed the older woman inside the home before taking his own life.

The next day in Corsicana, Rosalio Mendoza shot and killed his estranged wife, Vanessa Mendoza, 27, and her sister, Nancy Castillo, 28, before turning his gun on himself.

All three died at the scene.

Kathy Reid, Executive Director of the Family Abuse Center in Waco said Wednesday she's shocked at the acts of violence committed in Central Texas calling them stark reminders of how domestic violence goes on all year round.

A temporary protective order was in place against Matthew Splittsgerber at the time of the attack.

According to the application Sherry Splittgerber submitted for the order, her husband had threatened her “to get out of his house” on Dec. 3 and she left on Dec. 6 to move to her parents’ home.

While the order didn’t prevent the shooting on Dec. 20, advocates say such orders do have value and can provide a paper trail that establishes a possible pattern of violent behavior.

"With the protective order you are not allowed to have a gun. You have to surrender your weapons. I have no idea whether he actually did, whether he was asked to, whether he had completed that part of the process, or whether he was using an illegal weapon, but that's part of getting a protective order,” Reid said.

A hotline is available for those who need help in navigating domestic violence situations.

The number is 1-800-283-8401.