Two little girls are dead in Arizona after their father fatally shot them this weekend before turning the gun on himself, according to authorities.
Months before, according to one report, the girls’ mother got a protective order against their dad, accusing him of repeated harassment and violence.
Phoenix police discovered the grisly scene after the girls’ mother, Carmen Arismendez, asked them to check on her daughters and her ex-husband, Jerad Joseph Arismendez, on Sunday night, police said in a news release.
The two girls lived with their mother, the Arizona Republic reports, but were visiting their father for the weekend.
Shortly before Carmen’s call, Jerad’s neighbor called police to report the sound of gunshots, according to the news release.
Responding officers found Jerad and his 5-year-old daughter, Audrey, dead in his Tolleson, Arizona, home. Jerad’s 4-year-old daughter, Ariah, was taken to a local hospital where she died from her injuries, police said.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” one of the the girls’ relatives, Maira Garcia, wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for their funeral expenses. “I found out this morning that my 4 and 5 year old baby cousins Ariah and Audrey have gone to heaven.
“They were victims of a tragic incident and we will miss them so much.”
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Dad Had ‘Violent Tendencies’: Report
Court records reportedly show that in June, Carmen filed and received an order of protection against Jerad. The documents, obtained by the Republic, allege Jerad had “violent tendencies” and obsessive behavior, and at one point put Carmen in a choke hold.
Carmen said she need an order of protection because Jerad was allegedly harassing her, the Republic reports.
“He lives 1 minute away from me and can come over to ‘take care of me’ whenever,” she wrote in the request, according to the Republic.
Carmen alleged that Jerad would call her 50 times a day, the paper reports, and previously stated he wasn’t worried about the police. “I fear for my safety as he has violent tendencies,” she wrote.
In 2006, Jerad pleaded guilty to two separate incidents of disorderly conduct in Avondale, Arizona, and in 2013 charges against him for assault and criminal damage were dismissed, according to the Republic.
The girls’ family could not be reached for comment. But on the GoFundMe page, Garcia described them both as always having “a smile on their faces.”
“Audrey had just started kindergarten and Ariah was looking forward to joining her sister in school,” Garcia wrote on the page, which has raised more than $10,000. “They were the happiest little girls I know and so full of life and happiness and adventure.”