Domestic violence advocates speak out on Harlingen murder

1013 E. Polk St

Harlingen police responded to a call about a burglary of a home shortly after midnight Friday at 1013 E. Polk St. However, when officers arrived, what they discovered was far more gruesome.

"(There) were bodies of three people - the two male and one female subject," Sgt. John Parrish said.

Parrish added that preliminary evidence suggests that estranged husband, Omar Montemayor, 34, broke into his wife, Sarah Maxwell Montemayor's home through a window.

He then allegedly opened fire on the 29-year-old woman and 28-year-old Devon Haynes who was also inside the home. Police said Montemayor then shot himself.

Police said Maxwell Montemayor and Haynes died. The alleged shooter survived and is in critical condition.

Debbie Perez, legal advocate at Family Crisis Center in Harlingen, said when estranged romantic partners feel they are losing control of a situation then can snap.

Police said the estranged couple has a four-year-old son together. The tragedy, Perez said, will impact the young boy forever.

The kids are the ones that suffer the most because they lose both parents (if the father survives and goes to jail), Perez said.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and although it's unknown if there was abuse involved in the couple TMs relationship, Perez said women in abusive relationships should report abuse to police from the first sign of violence. It can help save their lives, she adds.

"Even if they don TMt want to do a report, even if it's just an incident report to leave a paper trail, Perez said, I always recommend to call the police. If it's more physical situation, go to the (District Attorney) and have a protective order against him."