A group of people gathered outside a Union Avenue apartment complex Monday afternoon trying to make sense of events the night before that left their beloved neighbors — a mother of four and her brother — dead from gunshot wounds.
The neighbors recalled hearing a verbal skirmish outside and then opening their doors to see 20-year-old Carlos Abraham and 34-year-old Louise Abraham on the ground.
Moris Matauto Gilmete, 39, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and evading police after he shot the victims and then led police on a chase just before 1 a.m. Monday, according to a news release from Bakersfield Police Department. Police did not make clear the relationship between Gilmete and the victims.
"She was one of the first ones I got acquainted with when I moved here in March. She was always smiling," said Dasheonna Grier, of Louise Abraham, who also went by Lou. Her son, who is in middle school, was friends with Abraham's three boys, whose ages she gave as 8, 9 and 10. Neighbors said the woman's youngest child, a girl, lived elsewhere with relatives.
The Abrahams were originally from Guam and Louise Abraham moved to Bakersfield in 2011, neighbors said. Their nearest relatives lived in Los Angeles so the family became close with Grier and others who lived next door, often eating dinner together. Carlos Abraham, Louise's brother, had arrived from Guam in the past year to stay with the couple, they said, and was well-liked by the neighboring kids and adults.
According to Bakersfield police, officers responded at 12:52 a.m. to the Santa Fe Apartments at 617 Union Ave. for reports of people screaming. After learning a shooting had occurred and the suspect was leaving the complex in a car, police attempted to stop the vehicle.
The driver, later identified as Gilmete, allegedly led officers on a vehicle pursuit, which ended at Highway 178 at the Oswell Street off-ramp when Gilmete's car crashed into a parked car, a news release from BPD said. A person in the parked car was injured and taken to a hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, BPD said.
BPD arrested Gilmete and located a firearm inside his car, BPD said.
Neighbors said Louise Abraham was a kind and beautiful woman who loved her children.
The Kern County Superior Court website showed that a man with the same name as Gilmete was charged with numerous crimes dating back to 2011, pleading no contest to DUI, multiple counts of battery and violating a court order to prevent domestic violence.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the case should call Detective Gavin at 326-3557 or BPD at 327-7111.