LANCASTER – Homicide detectives are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in Lancaster that left a 48-year-old woman and her estranged husband dead Thursday morning, authorities said.
Deputies responded around 6:50 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, to the 3200 block of West Avenue J-10 in Lancaster, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“Lancaster Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to the location for an ‘assault now’ call. Upon their arrival, they found a female Hispanic adult and a male Hispanic adult both lying in the driveway of the residence with apparent gunshot wounds,” detectives said in the news release.
“A witness at the scene told detectives the male Hispanic approached the female in the driveway and they began arguing. During the argument, the male Hispanic pointed a gun at the female victim and shot in her direction several times, striking her. He then turned the gun on himself and fired, striking himself,” detectives said in the news release.
The weapon was recovered at the scene, officials said.
The 48-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene; and the 58-year-old man, the estranged husband of the victim, was transported to a local hospital and later pronounced dead, homicide detectives said in the news release.
Both were Lancaster residents, detectives said.
Their names have not yet been released, coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said Thursday afternoon.
However, distraught family members at the scene identified the victim as Silvia Salazar.
A woman at the scene said Silvia was her best friend, and said Silvia and Luis Salazar had been married for more than 20 years but had separated.
“She asked me for a place to live,” Dolinda Reyes said, adding that Silvia had been staying with her since May. She said Silvia worked as a nurse in Mojave and was a “wonderful person.”
“I know she is in heaven now because she was a good Christian lady. She believed in God,” Reyes said.
The victim’s estranged husband was a local business owner, Reyes said, adding that Silvia had filed for divorce.
Family members said the couple’s divorce was finalized Wednesday.
UPDATE: An online fundraiser has been established to ensure a proper burial for Silvia Salazar. To donate to this effort, visit https://www.gofundme.com/5t4hjmpd.