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Peoria woman allegedly confessed to shooting two people during family visit

Bernadette De La Garza, 43, has allegedly admitted to shooting her husband's estranged stepchildren during a family visit Friday night.

PEORIA, Ariz. — A Peoria woman is facing murder charges after she allegedly shot her husband's estranged stepchildren Friday night. 

Bernadette De La Garza, 43, allegedly called 911 and told dispatchers she had shot two unarmed people outside the family's home near 91st and Olive avenues.

"They were visiting their stepdad," the suspect allegedly told the dispatcher. "I shot both of them, I shot both them in front of my Tahoe." 

One victim died at the scene and the other is being treated at the hospital for multiple gunshot wounds.

De La Garza allegedly told police her husband and the former stepchildren had been standing outside the home smoking and talking. After the suspect came out to check on them, she said she discovered her husband lying on the ground and bleeding from his mouth. 

De La Garza told police she felt she needed to protect her husband. She said she went back inside to retrieve her handgun, according to a police report.

As De La Garza came back outside, she claimed she tripped and the gun accidentally went off, causing a bullet to possibly strike one of the victims. 

The suspect allegedly admitted to firing six shots at the two victims. She later told police she didn't see the victims hurting her husband nor make any threats, the police report shows. 

Police officers found the husband highly intoxicated and lying on the ground after responding to the 911 call.

De La Garza was taken into custody and could be facing second-degree murder and aggravated assault charges. 

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