by Victor Lopez
BIG SPRING--48 year old Tommy Gutierrez, Jr., is in Howard County jail, accused of killing his wife, 45-year-old Patricia Gutierrez. The shooting happened early Monday morning at their home on 1207 Sycamore. Several hours later, Tommy Gutierrez turned himself in.
According to Big Spring Police Sgt. Tony Everett, "There's no motive at this time, just an ongoing domestic problem."
They aren't saying much, but they do have another homicide investigation on their hands.
"When officers arrived they found a female subject had been shot. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance, where she died in the emergency room," Everett said.
Authorities say the Gutierrez' were hanging out with some friends and family, when things took a bad turn, "They had been having a small get together with neighbors and family, when the shooting occurred. It's safe to say that most everyone at the scene had been drinking."
In an off camera interview, family members of Patricia Gutierrez said the couple had been married for about 3 years, but had been in a relationship for 16. They say Tommy had a history of alcohol and drug abuse and Patricia had asked him to get help many times. It's the family's belief, she may have been trying to leave him, when, according to her son, Tommy shot her in the back, without even a second thought.
This is the second fatal shooting in Big Spring in the last two weeks. One woman NewsWest 9 spoke to, who asked not to be identified, says she's concerned for the safety of all of Big Spring's residents, "It's not good for the kids that live here, that are going to grow up here. It's not good for the people that are here, that can't afford to move. And it's just not good for the town all together."
Big Spring Police say, while there is criminal activity in the neighborhood around Sycamore, it's not any better or worse than any other part of the city.
"We respond to pretty much every street in town. It's not a higher crime rate area than anywhere else or other places, but yes, we do have calls on that street," Everett explained.
Neighbors say something's gotta give, "When I first moved here, I really liked this town. But over the last few years, it's just gone down hill. Nothing that happens in this town surprises me at all anymore."