CLEVELAND, Ohio-- Cleveland police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a murder-suicide that happened at a Burger King restaurant, Tuesday morning.
Friends and relatives of the victim, identified as Erlyn Michelle Rivera, 38, said the mother of three was killed by her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Police and paramedics were called to the Burger King at West 110th and Lorain at just before 8 a.m., after employees reported that one of their co-workers had been shot by her ex-boyfriend.
Police discovered that Rivera had been shot to death. Her ex-boyfriend, identified as Jorge Avilies, 45, reportedly barricaded himself in a bathroom, then took his own life.
"Devastating, she left kids; he left kids. It's just horrible," said Andrea Miller, friend of the victim.
The victim's brother, boxing champion Antonio Nieves, works at a bank across the street from the Burger King, and was stunned to learn of the horrific crime. "He's a coward. I mean you're going to leave kids, your own kids like this in the world to fend for themselves without a mom; I mean he's a coward, what, a man doesn't do that," he said.
Friends said Rivera was relieved that the relationship was over and she could now begin a new phase of her life.
Rivera's children range in age from 14-20. We are told family members will work together to care for the younger children.