Sister of Family Dollar Store Shooting Victim Shares Story to Fight Domestic Violence

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    A man shot a woman at the Family Dollar store on Park Street in Hartford on Saturday before turning the gun on himself, police said.

    Julisa Rentas' older sister, Sharon Rentas, remains in the hospital fighting for her life after a shooting in a Hartford Family Dollar Store.

    It's been more than a  week since Hartford police say the victim's husband, 51-year-old Elvin Perez-Soto, shot her inside the Park Street store before turning the gun on himself.

    "I knew he was abusive, but I never thought it would get to this point," Julisa Rentas said.

    According to police, Perez-Soto is a convicted felon not allowed to possess or own a firearm. He now faces several charges including attempted murder.

    "She was going to the store, and she was going to pick something up from [Perez-Soto's] son," said Rentas. "Either she was followed or he was waiting for her. They were arguing."

    An employee of the Family Dollar Store told NBC Connecticut that the suspect's son used to work at the store but was not there during the shooting.

    A police report reveals the mother of three had applied for a restraining order two days before the attack. Rentas says her sister also began divorce proceedings in court.

    "She was just pretty much saying that she had it, she's got to move on," said Rentas.

    Before that moment Rentas says her sister dealt with years of abuse in her nearly 12 years of marriage.

    "She was really in love with him," said Rentas. "It didn't matter how many times we told her to please get out of the relationship."

    Karen Jarmoc, executive director for the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said that some of the most dangerous times for victims of abuse is following a breakup or a court date.

    "I know this might sound strange for people to hear, but they don't always view themselves as a victim of domestic violence. It's their life. It's a circumstance they have to deal with on a daily basis," Jarmoc said.

    Rentas hopes telling her sister's story can convince others to seek help before it's too late.

    "This is a pattern. We told my sister many, many times, 'You need to get away from him,'" said Rentas.

    For anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or knows someone who is, Jarmoc says there are many resources available. You can go to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence website to find resources and get more information about domestic violence:
    http://www.ctcadv.org.

    You can also call the Connecticut Domestic Violence Hotline at 888.774.2900.
    It's free, confidential, and available 24/7.