Two young children sent out to get food returned home Wednesday night to find their mother shot and killed, and now, police want to question her boyfriend, who detectives say is the father of the youngest child. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Police want the public's help locating Eric McCormick, the man seen in the image above, for questioning in the death of his girlfriend, Sellis Gonzales.
Flames from candles flickered Thursday night at a makeshift memorial in her honor.
Loved ones tied flowers to the fence outside the apartment where she lived and died.
"I feel bad, man. Real bad," said one person. "She don't bother nobody."
It's the circumstances around the 46-year-old's death that has a block on Chauncey Street rattled.
Police say Gonzales was home with her 9-year-old and 5-year-old daughters when McCormick, the younger girl's father and Gonzales's boyfriend, came over.
"He gives the girls $8 to buy fried chicken around the corner," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "They go, and when they come back, the door is ajar and the woman is on the floor."
The girls found their mother with gunshot wounds to the body and to the head. She was dying, if not already dead.
"Her daughter came to my house and asked for some help," said neighbor Rashida Bruce, who said she waited with the children for emergency workers, then brought them to her apartment.
"It was very panicky, very hectic," Bruce said. "They didn't really know what to do."
Detectives spent Thursday talking to neighbors and looking for clues.
Residents spent the day and night talking quietly and remembering Gonzales as a good person and a great mother.
McCormick is 40 years old. He is said to be 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and is said to weigh 225 pounds.
Sources tell NY1 he has prior arrests for robberies.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.