The pyramid of stuffed animals, angels, and balloons rises in memory of Gabriella Rino the day after her mother shot her and turned the gun on herself.
"The little girl was a very smart girl," said Umberto Leone, a family friend. "She's in heaven now."
The Bridgeport street corner was much different Monday afternoon: Yellow crime tape and police cruisers blocked off Burnsford Avenue after a 48-year-old mother and her 8-year-old daughter were found dead inside their home Monday afternoon. Their deaths were an apparent murder-suicide, the medical examiner determined.
Police were called to 197 Burnsford Ave. at 3:37 p.m. Monday for a report of shots fired.
That’s when they found Ann Marie Rino, 48, and her daughter Gabriella, 8, dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
Garbriella Marin Rino was shot in the head. Her death is a homicide, the Associated Press reports, citing the medical examiner.
Ann Marie Rino died from a gunshot wound to the chest. Her death is a suicide, the Associated Press reports.
"We have had an unfortunate incident. By all the evidence we have, and we can't say very much at this point, it's an isolated domestic incident," said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said before the medical examiner released the findings. Police say they did discover a suicide note.
Leone watched his friend Luciano Lipari light two candles at the shrine for Gabriella, on the street outside the girl's home.
"I can't get her out of my mind," said Lipari. "She had that soft, angelic voice."
Other friends say Ann Marie Rino was fine when they last saw her a week ago. The crime scene brought onlookers who lived blocks away.
"It's pretty crazy, cause this is a quiet area,” said Gabriel Ferreira of Bridgeport. “A lot of families live here. It's pretty shocking to see a double homicide."
"I have three kids. I wouldn't want nothing to happen to them," said Yvette Ramirez, who lives around the corner from the home where the shooting happened.
Police say there is no reason for neighbors to worry.
"It's a tragedy. It's an isolated incident,” said Chief Joe Glaudett with Bridgeport Police. “We don't think anyone is in danger at this point. It's over and there is no danger to any of the neighbors."
Kenroy Flowers lives up the street.
He says when he passed by the home that is now a crime scene, he would often see children on the swing set outside.
"I didn't expect you would find something happening here, but knowing what is going on, people are going through some real hard times, people are having problems," Flowers said.