CHICAGO, IL – A tragic incident unfolded in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago on December 13, resulting in the fatal shooting of a 34-year-old woman in front of her children. The woman, Maria Roque, was shot multiple times in the presence of her 14-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, just hours before her ex-boyfriend, Kenneth Brown, was set to be served with an extended protection order. Brown, 44, is now facing charges of first-degree murder in connection with Roque’s death.
The heartbreaking event occurred as Roque was putting her daughter into a rental car and noticed Brown approaching. She attempted to flee, but Brown proceeded to shoot her in the shoulder, chest, and thumb, according to a police report. Brown had previously violated an order of protection meant to prevent him from contacting Roque or their daughter, leading to a warrant for his arrest just a day before the fatal shooting.
Roque’s family revealed that Brown’s violent behavior had escalated after Roque ended their relationship weeks earlier. An order of protection, initially granted until November 28 and later extended to December 13, ultimately proved futile in protecting Roque from the tragic outcome. Despite a new protection order being granted against Brown through January, Roque had already lost her life.
Authorities arrested Brown on December 29 and charged him with first-degree murder. In the aftermath of the devastating incident, a GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $15,000 to cover the costs of Roque’s funeral. As the community grapples with the loss, fund organizer Alexandra Jundt highlighted Roque’s courageous efforts to escape a dangerous domestic situation in hopes of providing more safety and peace for herself and her children.
In the wake of Roque’s untimely death, her twin brother, Andres Roque, expressed the horror and grief he experienced upon learning of the tragedy. The family’s heartbreak serves as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of domestic violence, underscoring the need for continued awareness and support for those affected. The case against Brown is ongoing, with his next scheduled court appearance set for Wednesday.