Florencia Gutierrez was emotional Tuesday morning as she remembered her mother’s death.
Gabriela Marino was a second grade teacher originally from Argentina, but the 51-year-old would never see a classroom or her family again. Back in April, she was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Nicholas Garner.
"We'll never get to see her again, and we were a close family, so it's heartbreaking," Gutierrez said.
Marino and Garner were casually dating and lived in separate apartments in the same Manatee Bay Apartments community on North Federal Highway.
Attorneys for the victim's family say Garner had been drinking the night before and causing a disturbance. Marino had broken up with him, but the next day, police say he fired over 20 rounds in the parking lot — killing her as she left for work.
Garner was eventually killed in a standoff with police.
Marino's family is now filing a lawsuit against the Manatee Bay Apartment Corporation, saying the shooting could have been prevented. The lawsuit says Garner should not have been living there in the first place as records show he had a history of domestic violence and substance abuse.
They also claim there should have been more done to keep tenants safe.
"They need to do the background checks. They need to be out in their communities, not just taking the rent and letting the gates break and security cameras fail and not patrolling their area," said attorney Robert Bobby Gonzales. "The bottom line is that the community let the family down."
In a statement of NBC 6, attorneys representing the apartment complex said in part:
"The brutal murder of Ms. Marino by her former boyfriend is truly tragic and a great loss to the entire Manatee Bay community and its staff. However, Manatee Bay denies all liability and denies that it had any ability to prevent this crime of passion committed after Ms. Marino terminated her romantic relationship with the assailant."