In what appears to be a custody dispute gone wrong in horrifying fashion, 52-year-old Svetlana Laurel shot her own 14-year-old daughter in the head on Tuesday night, December 18, killing her. The distraught teen was attempting to speak on the phone to a 911 operator at the time of the incident, as prosecutors allege in court documents obtained by KOMO TV News in Seattle, Washington.
According to a police report and court papers, Laurel showed up Tuesday evening at the home of her former husband, Michael Gulizia, who was not yet home. Gulizia had custody of the couple’s two children, a 12-year-old boy, and a 14-year-old girl identified as Natalie Gulizia, according to a New York Daily News report on the incident.
Renton is a suburban city about 12 miles south of Seattle. Laurel was reportedly living in Kent, Washington, according to KOMO reporter Jennifer Sullivan — via Twitter. Kent is located another seven miles south of Renton.
When the father returned home, accompanied by his daughter, he found Laurel — who did not have permission to enter his home — inside. She was holding a taser “stun gun,” according to the KOMO report. She had bound their 12-year-old son to a chair using zip ties, and gagged the boy by stuffing a sock in his mouth. Laurel then fired the taser, stunning Gulizia. She then proceeded to tie him up as well, all while telling him that he had “ruined her life” — and that she was going to kill him.
The teen girl was able to flee to an upstairs bedroom, where she dialed 911. According to a police report, that was when Laurel chased her — and shot her in the head — as she tried to communicate with the 911 operator, ABC News details. According to a police report cited by ABC, the operator heard a voice on the other end, likely belonging to Laurel, yell “you called 911!” The operator then heard the phrase, “blow your head off.”
“Police said the operator also heard a noise similar to zip ties being deployed, followed by a loud bang. Someone then screamed about someone being dead,” according to the ABC account of the police report.
“During the dispute, the mother confronted the daughter, while she was on the phone with 911, and then fatally shot her,” ABC quoted the police report as saying. “Initial indications are that there was a recent child custody issue where the mother had lost custody of her children.”
The 12-year-old boy, who remained bound to a chair, was able to “hop” to the room where the shooting occurred, and saw his sister on the floor. He said that “her head was covered in blood,” according to KOMO.
The mom then returned downstairs and aimed her weapon at her ex-husband, who was also now bound to a chair by Laurel. “The gun failed to fire, with Svetlana struggling to clear the malfunction in the pistol,” ABC reported, quoting the police report. “Michael rammed Svetlana into the wall with his shoulder, and was able to grab the pistol. At that point, the officers arrived and ordered everyone out of the house.”
Svetlana Laurel is now being held without bail in King County Jail, charged with first-degree murder, according to a Renton Police statement posted on Twitter.