Attack Leaves One Dead, One Critically Injured

Attack Leaves One Dead, One Critically Injured

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Kimberly Houk reporting A mother is in the hospital tonight fighting for her life. Her boyfriend is dead, and police say the woman's estranged husband is the killer.

The attack happened early this morning in Provo. Police say the husband was waiting for his wife when she pulled into her drive-way.

The former couple were in the process of getting a divorce, but early this morning police say the woman's home became a crime scene when her estranged husband started attacking with a knife.

He did it in front of their children, who were sitting in the backseat of the car.

The woman and her boyfriend were still sitting in the front seats of the car at 920 South 340 West when police say 25-year-old Jamie Velasco pounced on them with a knife, killing the boyfriend and seriously injuring his estranged wife.

The loud screaming woke up the neighbors.

Minea Espinoza, Neighbor: "My husband only hear screaming, no fighting, nothing more, only screaming."

Police say Velasco stabbed himself a few times before driving to the Provo Police Department to turn himself in.

This is the second time this year a mother has been killed in front of her children by her estranged husband. The first happened last month in West Valley City.

Dr. Jenny McKenzie, who counsels victims of domestic violence, says women face a heightened danger right after they leave their abuser.

Jenny McKenzie, Ph.D., Domestic Violence Counselor: "The perpetrator and the abuser thinks, 'If I can't have you, no one else will.'"

23 people killed last year in Utah... victims of domestic violence. McKenzie says there's one threat that should never be ignored, one that should send a victim running for help.

Jenny McKenzie, Ph.D., Domestic Violence Counselor: "I think the number one sign is if he has verbally threatened you. If he has said, 'I'll kill you. I'm going to hurt you. I'm going to kill our kids.' Take that threat very seriously."

Especially when it comes to protecting the children.

Jenny McKenzie, Ph.D., Domestic Violence Counselor: "I think we cannot underestimate the impact that violence and abuse has on children's lives. This experience will be something these children will be struggling with for the rest of their lives."

The kids are staying with relatives tonight. Their father is in jail facing several charges, including one count of homicide and one count of domestic violence in front of children.

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