Suzette Laboy of the AP reports that 38-year-old Gerardo Regalado — who happens to be the half-brother of former Yankee Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez — allegedly argued with his wife Liazan Molina outside Yoyito Restaurant in Hialeah, Florida, where she worked. Police say he then fatally shot her before moving inside the restaurant to shoot six more women — three died and three more were hospitalized in critical condition. According to the Miami Herald, one of the latter is Yasmin Dominguez, Molina's cousin, with whom she was living due to problems in her marriage with Regalado. After shooting his victims, Regalado apparently turned the gun on himself — he was found dead several blocks from Yoyito.
Like George Sodini, who shot thirteen women at a Pittsburgh gym last August before committing suicide, Regalado seems to have targeted only women. Police say he passed at least two men inside the restaurant to shoot more female patrons. Orlando Hernandez's agent Mike Maulini says of Regalado's alleged shooting spree,
This has taken everyone by surprise. We do not know what might have happened. He was a good kid. Since he arrived [from Cuba in 2006] he has tried not to depend on his brother and do his own work.
Proclaiming that the perpetrator was a good person who shocked everyone with his misdeeds is common after crimes against women — as Gavin de Becker points out in The Gift of Fear, it's a way of claiming such crimes can't be prevented. But as de Becker points out, men who kill their partners or other women usually exhibit warning signs first (as, for instance, did the man who killed 27-year-old Chrystal Snipes this May). Regalado didn't leave behind a detailed diary like George Sodini, but the Herald reports that he did become depressed when Molina left their home several weeks ago, losing a large amount of weight and telling neighbors "he couldn't stand to be in the house alone." He also made several postings on his Facebook page after Molina's departure, writing, "I'm stupid because I had everything and I threw it away," and "My days have no sunshine; the nights have no stars."
Regalado's postings didn't sound violent, but it's important for law enforcement, mental health workers, and families to recognize that depression can lead to violence, and that partners can be at risk after a breakup. What's also becoming increasingly clear is that violence against women isn't only a problem for women in relationships with violent men. Victim-blamers sometimes chalk up women's deaths to choosing or staying with the wrong partner. But as in the case of six of Regalado's victims, domestic violence can spill over to harm women who didn't even know their assailant. Maybe Sunday's shootings, if they do anything good, will remind us that domestic violence is a problem for all of society, and not just the partners involved.
Image via ronstik/Shutterstock.com.
Police: Gunman Kills 4 Women But Doesn't Shoot Men [AP, via Yahoo News]
Gunman's Rage Over Estranged Wife Leaves 5 Dead At Hialeah Restaurant [Miami Herald, via Florida Sun-Sentinel]