"It's just sad, sad, sad, sad," said next-door neighbor Era Gindratt.
It began just after 8 p.m. on Christmas night, when a woman called police and told them her estranged ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Ernest Gonzales, tried to break into her house in the 1000 block of Minda Ln. by kicking in a side door.
After hearing police were on their way, Gonzales fled -- only to return several hours later, around 2 a.m.
That's when detectives say he forced open the front door and attacked the victim, a 35-year-old woman whose name we have chosen not to release.
Also inside the home at the time -- her two children, a 16-year-old and a newborn baby.
According to police, the woman grabbed a gun she legally possessed during the assault and shot Gonzales once in the side -- then, he ran outside.
Patrol officers found him in the front yard of the home and took him to the hospital, where he later died.
For people in this quiet southeast Abilene neighborhood, it's a shocking story to wake up to any day, and especially, the day after Christmas.
"I saw police running around, I didn't know what was going on," said neighbor Immaculatu Musoneo. "I didn't think there could be anything like that before, it was just a surprise to us."
"Knowing her like I do, my heart goes out to her," said Robert Vaughn, a friend and neighbor of the victim. "It's just a tragic day," .
This was not Gonzales' first run-in with the law -- he has past convictions for aggravated assault, attempted murder and various drug charges. He was released from jail in August after arrests on burglary and drug charges.
The case is being presented to a grand jury for review, but police said they do not expect any criminal charges to be filed.