Family says shooting victim had left her husband - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family says shooting victim had left her husband

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Behind the smiles, Deborah Gotell's daughter knows there was pain.

"It was not a situation we like to see our mother in, with somebody who's psychologically and verbally abusive," daughter Nefera Croom said.

In a recently posted YouTube video, Deborah and her husband Joseph Gotell talk about some ongoing legal fight from Joseph's past. Despite their unity there, family members say Deborah had finally had enough and told Joseph she wanted out.

"Of course I was like congratulations, good riddance," Nefera said.

But it wasn't a clean break. With Joseph being 83, Deborah showed compassion.

"She felt sort of an obligation to try to help him out and not leave him high and dry and just totally cut off," Nefera said.

That's the kind of person the 57-year-old mother of four was.. She loved to help people, -- a move that in this case cost her her life. Family members say Joseph Gotell wanted Deborah all to himself, so he hunted her down in the Gaslamp Saturday, where she was taking care of her mother who is in hospice.

"When he saw her, he grabbed her and apparently threw her into a T-Mobile window and her head hit the window and she fell and that's where he was able to gun her down," Nefera said.

Police say Gotell shot his estranged wife, who was pronounced dead a day later by the medical examiner. Because of his age, family members admit they didn't fear for her safety.

"I thought he had a bad temper. He says cruel and mean things. I never thought it could escalate to taking her life. I really honestly didn't expect that," Nefera said.

Joseph Gotell is set to be arraigned on Wednesday.

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