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Domestic violence during coronavirus pandemic: 3 deadly incidents on Memorial Day weekend

Authorities are investigating what they say are three deadly domestic violence incidents in three days.

HOUSTON — What was supposed to be a weekend to honor fallen heroes has turned deadly for some families in the Houston area.

Authorities are investigating what they say are three deadly domestic violence incidents in three days.

The first happened Friday in Brazoria County where deputies found a man and woman dead. Family and friends identified the couple as Houston Fire Department Capt. Joe Robinson and his girlfriend Briana Warren. 

RELATED: HFD captain, girlfriend found dead in Brazoria County home; young son nearby was unharmed

The second shooting happened Saturday. The Houston Police Department said a woman shot her common law husband. The man died at the scene.

RELATED: Woman who told police she feared for her safety shoots, kills common-law husband in Galleria area

The third shooting was Saturday night. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office found a couple dead inside their home in Katy. Deputies believe it was a murder suicide and said the husband pulled the trigger. 

RELATED: Husband and wife found dead in Katy home

The Houston Area Women’s Center said these incidents correspond to an increase in calls they're seeing from family members needing help getting out of dangerous situations.

“We are seeing an increase in calls and escalation in the severity of violence,” said Emilee Whitehurst, president and CEO of the Houston Area Women's Center.

So what are some red flags for those who might be or know someone in these situations?

“Escalating violence, access to firearms, threats of suicide, or if he or she has threatened to kill you, that is a really significant warning sign,” Whitehurst said.

The Houston Area Women’s Center has started a campaign at nocovidabuse.org to help educate more families who might be in abusive relationships during this time.

“Interpersonal dynamics are exacerbated by the kinds of pressures that we are all experiencing. Job loss, stress over health or just pressures of being together and not having the same routines,” Whitehurst said.

The goal of this campaign is to educate and remove the stigma for people needing help, and hopefully, prevent future tragedies.

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