Mother Shot & Killed in Front of Her Children, Officials Say


Maria Cristina Calle murder


Flowers are left at the site of Maria Cristina Calle’s murder

A woman identified as 46-year-old María Cristina Calle was shot and killed in front of her two young children in a horrific murder caught on video. The murder, which took place at an MIO station for public transport in Cali, Colombia, on Saturday, was captured on surveillance cameras.

The video, which will not be posted in this article but was shared by The Sun, shows the gunman in a white shirt and red hat running toward the woman as she was waiting in the Santa Monica MIO station with her two kids. The gunman shot the woman as she was backing away with her hands up, the video shows.

The mother of two was shot in the head and the chest and died almost instantly, police reported, according to Canal 44. It is not immediately clear who will take custody of her two children.

The Gunman, Believed to Be the Victim’s Ex-Boyfriend, Is at Large After Fleeing the Scene

The gunman fled the scene after shooting Calle, the CCTV surveillance footage of the fatal attack shows. In the video, one of the woman’s two kids can be seen starting to run in that same direction after the shooter while her other child appears to be immobile in shock.

Jorge Ivan Ospina, the mayor of Cali, took to Twitter to denounce the “cowardly” act and gunman and indicated that he was believed to be the woman’s ex-boyfriend. He said the Cali police and prosecutor’s office are investigating the murder and so far all the available information points to the gunman being Calle’s ex-partner. Ospina labeled the crime a femicide and added, “Why don’t early warning systems work for domestic abuse, harassment and sexual violence?”

The gunman, whose name has not been released at this time, remains at large. Ospina added that a reward of about $5,500 was being offered for information that would lead to the capture of the suspected gunman.

Ospina Said Cali, Colombia, Has Seen at Least 20 Femicides So Far This Year

Ospina spoke about how domestic violence and deaths related to domestic violence have been happening all too frequently. He said there have been at least 70 women murdered so far this year in Cali alone and 20 of those were considered femicides (defined as the murder of a woman by her current partner or an ex), The Sun reported.

There has been a major increase in femicides in Colombia this year, with 86 murders of women and girls in September 2020 alone, Al Jazeera reported. That’s the highest monthly total since 2017 when those stats were first tracked and a shocking average of three women killed every day.

Nancy Faride, a gender equality official, said, “The city is mourning because another woman has been the victim of a public murder. Now, homes and public places are no longer safe for women. We feel very insecure,” the outlet reported.

A tribute to victims of domestic violence took place at the Plaza San Francisco in Cali and the hashtag #NoEsHoraDeCallar was used to indicate that now is not the time to be silent. Mayor Ospina tweeted, “This is not the time to be silent about the mistreatment, aggression and deaths to which women have been subjected. That’s why at this time in Plaza San Francisco we will read their names.”

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