HOUSTON - It's a heartbreaking story. A mom gunned down by her husband but as Candace Williams' loved ones listened to the news coverage they realized this wasn't just a report about their city. It was about their family.
"My heart sunk", explains Candace's mom Monica Williams. 27 year old Candace was murdered just before 3:00 a.m. in July 2014 by her husband Phillip Deckard. They newlywed's had been married just five months. Candace's one year old daughter was also on the bed as her mom was murdered there. Her 7-year-old daughter was terrified in the next room.
"She heard them getting into an argument and she said she couldn't make out what they were saying and then she heard the gunshot" says Monica Williams. The 7-year-old found her mom murdered. Then ran to a neighbor's to call 911.
Deckard killed his wife then himself. "There was no indication that she was going through any kind of domestic violence. We didn't know anything. We found out when she was killed two of her friends knew what she was going through".
Candace, days before, had kicked Deckard out of their apartment. All of his belongings were found in his car. According to the Houston Area Women's Center that's the most dangerous time for an abuse victim, when leaving the relationship.
Williams has started a domestic abuse awareness foundation in memory of her daughter called Candace Way Out. "If Candace would have had a safety plan, if she would have been educated about what to do then she would have made it out safely". Find the foundation at www.candacewayout.org. The organization's crisis hotline phone number is (281) 501-2911.
Williams is encouraging victims or friends of someone being abused to speak up. She knows, firsthand, staying silent could be a fatal mistake.