Esther Callejas opened fire on her 2-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son because she wanted them to “go to heaven,” NBC News reports. The incident happened on Monday morning, at around 11:45 a.m. Afterward, the 24-year-old called her husband and family to tell them what happened. “She told detectives she planned on killing herself after, but she was unable to reload the gun,” Phoenix police Sgt. Ann Justus told the outlet. Callejas ended up shooting her hand.
The family called the police, with officers arriving at the home to find the children shot. Police then “began immediate life-saving actions” on the kids, according to Justus. They were transported to the hospital, where the 2-year-old died. The 6-year-old remains in critical condition.
Callejas has been booked in a local county jail on one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.
On Sept. 14, Callejas’ husband called the police and requested that they do a welfare check on his wife and kids, saying he was concerned for their “well-being.” Officers went to the family home and to a family member’s home, unable to find Callejas and the children. However, police were able to reach Callejas on the phone, who said they were fine. Neighbors told 12 News that the mother may have been struggling with mental health issues. It’s still unclear what her motive was.