The 10-year-old girl's computer was hit by a bullet as she began her first day of school

By Ashley Boucher
August 11, 2020 09:56 PM
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Donald J. Williams
Courtesy of the Martin County Sheriff's Office

The first day of school for a Florida elementary schooler turned deadly when the student's mother was shot during the online class, CBS 12 reported.

An elementary school teacher at Warfield Elementary witnessed her 10-year-old student react to her mother getting shot as class, which was being held over Zoom because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, began.

Donald J. Williams, 27, was taken into custody on Tuesday under suspicion of murdering his ex-girlfriend and the student's mother, Maribel Rosado-Morales, 32, BuzzFeed News reported.

There were reportedly six children inside the home — Rosado-Morales' four children, including the 10-year-old girl who was online, and two of their cousins — when Williams arrived around 8 a.m., according to BuzzFeed News.

"One of the children, the 10-year-old, is online, getting ready to start the day — it's early, you know, 8 o'clock," Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said during a press conference Tuesday.

Snyder said that Williams gave a full confession and will face a first-degree murder charge, according to CBS 12.

"The teacher's online — I've never done a Zoom with children, so I'm picturing there's other children on — and the teacher can see the children," Snyder said of the incident during the press conference, which was captured on video by WTVX West Palm.

Snyder said that the teacher told authorities she "heard a commotion, heard profanity, realized it was some sort of domestic altercation" while she could still see the child online.

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"The teacher said she mutes her button [so] nobody has to hear it, and then she sees the 10-year-old put her hands up to her ears," Snyder said, adding that the student's portion of the Zoom call went blank "almost immediately after the child put her hands up to her ears" as it was struck by a bullet.

"We know the computer was hit with a projectile, so that makes sense," he said.

Snyder said he expects the public will be "horrified" by the incident.

"I've learned through decades of doing this that when you think you've seen everything, you haven't," he said, according to BuzzFeed News. "I know that people hearing about this, reading about this, are going to be horrified by this."

A neighbor described Rosado-Morales as "a very friendly, loving, kind person."

The Martin County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. It was not immediately clear if Williams has legal representation.