By Elaine Aradillas
December 07, 2016 08:42 PM
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Credit: Albuquerque PD

George Wechsler was determined to see his ex-girlfriend and her three children despite her repeated requests to leave them alone, according to police officials. A few days ago, he asked to bring Christmas presents to the children and, once again, she said no.

On Monday, Wechsler broke into the woman’s Albuquerque home when they weren’t there and waited for them. When they arrived, according to the Albuquerque Police Department, he ambushed the family and shot them. The children died. Their mother remains in critical condition at the hospital.

“Evidence shows the mother fought valiantly to try to save her children and get them out of the house,” according to the police department’s press release.

Wechsler, 45, died at the hospital from a self-inflicted gun shot wound, police say. The children were ages 5, 6 and 9. The mother’s name has not been released, but will be eventually.

“[A]s a victim, we have a duty to protect her and the family as a whole,” police spokesperson Celina Espinoza tells PEOPLE.

On Tuesday, the city’s mayor, Richard Berry, asked for prayers for the family.

“We lost three of our angels in a senseless and tragic act of violence last night,” he told the Albuquerque Journal.