Police on Thursday night tracked down a man suspected of murdering his ex-girlfriend after sending her children out of their apartment. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
As 5-year-old Alyssa played with the balloons on her mother's memorial outside their home, other family members are breathing a sigh of relief that Sellis Gonzales' ex-boyfriend and alleged killer has been captured.
Police say Eric McCormick shot himself in the torso after police found him upstate in the Catskills Wednesday night.
"He didn't die, thank God, because I think death would've probably been too easy, you know? 'Cause I want him to pay for it. I want him to suffer and pay for what it is he did to my sister," said Kirt Gonzales, the victim's brother.
Police say that last week, McCormick went to the apartment Gonzales shared with her two daughters. McCormick is the father of the younger girl. Police say he sent her and her older sister out to get food. When they returned, police say their mom had been shot several times.
New York City police officers and upstate police tracked McCormick down in the town of Hurleyville, about two-and-a-half hours from Brooklyn.
Gonzales' mother, Ursula, said she's praying for strength during this difficult time.
"She was my child. She is, she's everything to me. She was everything to me, and she really loved her children. I know her children is going to miss her, but they are strong," said Ursula Gonzales, the victim's mother.
"Now, we have to move forward and make sure that this family can unite and build around getting themselves together after this tragedy. It's all about this little one here and the rest of the family coming together," said community activist Tony Herbert.
McCormick is being charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
The Gonzales family said he was abusive for years, and they want him to spend the rest of his life in prison.