LITTLE VILLAGE — A man with a history of domestic battery fatally shot his estranged wife and 5-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself in Little Village early Tuesday, police and relatives said.
Officers responding to a shooting at about 12:15 a.m. in the 2800 block of South Kildare Avenue found a 5-year-old girl and a 28-year-old woman dead inside a home on the block. Both had been shot in the head, according to Officer Ron Gaines, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.
The two victims were identified as Carla Eguez, 5, and Kelly Coca, 28, authorities said.
A 27-year-old man also was found inside the home with a gunshot wound to the head that appeared to be self-inflicted, police said. The man was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. Family members of the slain mother and daughter said the man was the little girl's father.
Early Tuesday morning, police continued to work the scene as some family members looked on from behind yellow tape.
Claudio Cossio, Coca's nephew, said Coca and the shooter were married but separated years ago and planned to divorce.
The man, who lives in Miami, served in the Army for three years, and was moved to inactive reserve in June, according to the Army.
He had no overseas deployments, but did earn several medals for achievement and good conduct.
But Cossio said the shooter has a bad temper.
"He was kind of crazy," Cossio said. "Last time I met him, he attacked one of my family members, and we had to call police."
Cossio said the man showed up unannounced Monday night at Coca's two-story home, which she shares with her parents. The family believes the 5-year-old opened the door for her father, and Cossio said Coca's sister, who was upstairs with their parents, heard "two quick shots."
She grabbed a knife before the third shot rang out, but when she tried to open the door to the downstairs apartment of the woman and child, the door was locked, Cossio said.
"And that was when she couldn't open the door, and so she looked into the windows and she saw the bodies," he said.
Family said Coca had just returned from picking up her daughter in Miami, where the girl had been visiting her father.
He described his little cousin as a typical little girl who was into ballet and liked playing with princess dolls and her iPad.
"She had a real big heart," he said.
Cossio said she got that from her mother.
"When anybody was feeling down, [Coca] would bring the morale up," he said. "She had a big heart, just like Carla."
Family said Coca worked as a cleaner and had recently enrolled her daughter in private school.
Cossio said the family knew the shooter was capable of violence but never expected he would be capable of killing his own family.
"I want to be angry. It's just I can't right now," he said. "I'm very sad right now. I hope he lives where he can acknowledge what he's done to my family and to his very own daughter and his wife."
The shooter was charged with domestic battery in January 2011 in Cook County, according to court records. In that case, he was ordered held on $10,000 bond.