Chilling details have emerged from an attempted murder/suicide in Norco that was witnessed by the couple’s teenage daughter.
On June 24, 46-year-old Otto Barrera reportedly shot his estranged wife with a 12-gauge shotgun in their Goodhope Street home before turning the weapon on himself. Both Barrera and his wife, Catherine, survived the shooting and have undergone several facial reconstruction surgeries.
Barrera has been charged with attempted second-degree murder in the case.
Before the shooting, Otto, Catherine and their teen daughter had spent the day fishing in the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The couple’s daughter told police that her father had been drinking all day and that Otto and Catherine began arguing on their way home.
When the couple reached their home, they continued to fight but both went to the bathroom to shower. The daughter says she then saw her father punch her mother in the face before grabbing her by the throat and flinging her into the bedroom.
According to court documents, Otto grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun and ordered his wife to lie on the bed. The daughter tried to get between her mother and the gun, but she says she was pushed aside by her father.
That’s when she says Otto fired a shotgun blast into his wife’s face.
After the shooting, the daughter grabbed a friend who was in the living room and fled to a neighbor’s home where she called police.
When police arrived, they heard another gunshot and Barrera came out of the house naked and bleeding from a face wound. He walked out of the front door and collapsed before being taken to the hospital.
Authorities rushed into the home where they discovered Catherine lying on the bed covered in blood. She was still alive.
According to court documents, Otto was able to speak after the shooting and told a deputy "she was trying to take my kids, but I got her."
Neighbor Tammy Thornton said that the Barreras had been having marital troubles before the shooting.
"His wife told him that she wasn’t happy with all of the kids, and you know, with her life," she said. "She wasn’t happy so she started seeing somebody else and she was leaving."
Sheriff Greg Champagne said that the couple had previously separated with Catherine having left the state. She had returned to visit with her children.
Police officers on the scene said that bone and tissue could be found on the ceiling and the walls and that there was a huge hole in the ceiling from where Otto had shot himself.
Otto has been released from jail for medical reasons after posting a $250,000 bond. He is living with a friend under house arrest and has been ordered to have no contact with his wife or daughter.
Otto can only leave house arrest for doctor’s appointments and court appearances. Motions in his case will continue on Oct. 31.