HOUSTON – Houston police are investigating after a mother of four was shot to death outside her southwest Houston apartment early Monday.
"I believe we know who done it, the suspect who done it," the victim's brother, Herbert Castille, said.
According to Houston police, Rita Salton left her apartment at Sunswept Townhomes in the 1200 block of Thicket Green near Sandpiper at around 4:30 a.m. The 43-year-old worked at MV Transportation, a contract company for METRO, and was walking to her car when she was ambushed.
"She was leaving for work. From evidence from the scene right now, we are treating this as a robbery," said Thomas Simmons, with the Houston Police Department.
Salton was shot multiple times and her body was found lying on the sidewalk.
"I'm angry, I'm hurt and I'm frustrated," her cousin, Gina Gabba, said.
Gabba is among a group of friends, family and witnesses who believe they know who killed Salton.
Local 2 Investigates has learned that on Sept. 26, Salton's ex-boyfriend was charged with assaulting her. He has not been publicly identified as a suspect, so Local 2 did not identify him by name Monday afternoon.
"The way they were arguing. I knew they were a couple. It wasn't stranger danger. Somebody trying to rape her. She knew who this person was," a witness told Local 2.
Salton was well-liked and respected, her family said.
"She was very funny. You could ask her for anything and she'll do anything for you and she'll go out of her way. That's just how we were brought up as kids. And she would give you her last. She would help anybody," Gabba said. "It was senseless for him, whoever, to just shoot her and leave her for dead."
Family members watched in anguish as police searched for clues.
"She was a mother, a family person, family-oriented, she was committed to her job and her family," said James Miles, the victim's uncle. "This tragedy that's happened is really uncalled for. It shouldn't have ever happened."
Gabba had only one piece of advice for the person responsible for taking Salton's life.
"Turn yourself in, that's the best thing for him to do is to turn himself in," she said.