ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Two days after police say a man who shot and killed three children and critically wounded their mother, neighbors placed angel figurines and stuffed animals outside the Albuquerque home.
But few talked to reporters, and relatives of the children remain reluctant to disclose any information about the family as investigators work to piece together what happen on that chaotic Monday evening.
Albuquerque police on Wednesday also declined to release the name of the wounded mother who is the only witness to a shooting that has rocked the largest city in New Mexico. It is the latest in a string of horrific crimes involving New Mexico children.
In this latest case, authorities say George Daniel Wechsler, 45, broke into the home of his 36-year-old ex-girlfriend and waited for her and her children to get home. He then shot them before turning the gun on himself.
Police have said the two had a brief relationship and that Wechsler offered to give Christmas gifts to the children several days before the shooting but the mother refused.
The mother has not been identified and remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Wechsler was an Albuquerque native and the brother of one of the stars of ABC's "Revenge" television series. Wechsler's younger brother, Nick Wechsler, was also born and raised in Albuquerque but left after graduating high school to pursue acting. His biography lists George Daniel as one of his seven brothers.
Nick Wechsler's publicist, Mona Loring, did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.
According to court records, George Daniel Wechsler pleaded no contest in 2003 to misdemeanor stalking and petty misdemeanor assault against a family member. He was also arrested in 2004 for reckless driving, but police say he had no felony record.
His Linkedin page says he worked briefly as a corrections officer for the Florida-based GEO Group Inc. — a company that specializes in corrections, detention and mental health treatment. A spokesman for GEO Group did not return an email from The Associated Press.
A man cleaning out the trailer Wednesday where Wechsler lived also refused to speak to a reporter.
The city of Albuquerque announced late Wednesday it would hold a "Angel Tree Lighting" Thursday evening to celebrate the lives of children who have been lost to abuse and violence.
Earlier this year, police found Victoria Martens' dismembered body inside the apartment she shared with her mother after officers responded to a pre-dawn call about a disturbance on the day the girl was supposed to celebrate her 10th birthday.
Authorities believed the girl's boyfriend and a boyfriend's cousin gave the girl drugs and raped her before killing her.
Associated Press writers Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.
Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/russell-contreras .