Santa Rosa Police: Man opens fire on estranged wife, kills her, then himself

The Santa Rosa woman gunned down by her estranged husband Monday has been identified as 43-year-old Paula Zamora.

The gunman, 52-year-old Tomas Zamora-Martinez, shot himself to death shortly after taking her life. 
They had four children, between 8 and 25 years old, and had been married 27 years.  

"It appeared that this was an absolutely premeditated ambush," said Santa Rosa Police Lt. John Cregan.

"She was still in the drivers seat of her vehicle and shot multiple times as she sat there, completely defenseless."

The killing happened in the parking lot of Coddingtown Mall before 8:30 a.m., as Zamora arrived at Crunch Fitness, after dropping her two youngest children, 8 and 16, at school..

She still had her seatbelt on, and her SUV was still running, when her spouse of 27 years shot her through the drivers' side window. She was declared dead at the hospital. 

"The kids were dropped off and she was doing her morning routine to go to the gym," said Lt. Cregan,"and the tragic part is, her estranged husband knew this and was lying in wait."  

Soon after, a few blocks away on Herbert Street, Zamora-Martinez was found dead at the wheel of his Jeep SUV.

He was parked near an apartment complex where he had been living with relatives during the past several months. 

Other residents and neighbors saw the shattered glass in the cul-de-sac, but had assumed it was an auto break-in.  "I saw the window shattered and the engine running," said witness Carol Levy, "and I was going to see if they were okay, but I'm glad I didn't, because I would have seen something very bad."   

Some neighbors had become friendly with Zamora-Martinez, and he had alluded to his marital problems, but they did not anticipate the violence.  

"I told my boyfriend, he was such a friendly man, you could never tell he was distraught," said neighbor Tammy Tidrow, " and my boyfriend said, "just because he's friendly and polite doesn't mean he's not struggling with something."  

At the scene of the second fatal shooting, some relatives of Zamora- Martinez gathered, consoling each other. 

Police are interviewing them, as well as Paula Zamora's family, who may have seen hints of threatening behavior. 

"When we are talking to some of the family members, there has been some fear there in their lives," said Lt. Cregan, "and we're examining their history but at this point don't see any history of domestic violence reported to the Police Department".

Police hope the tragedy is a call to action for those at risk or experiencing domestic violence, to report it, and access available resources. 

Paula Zamora had told her family she was ready to initiate a divorce.

Experts in domestic violence say that is often the most dangerous time in a volatile relationship. 

"For the family members it's tragic, for the four kids involved, and even for the first responders, it's just heartbreaking," said Lt. Cregan. 

Sonoma County offers a Family Justice Center at 2755 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, with services for those in abusive relationships. The phone number is (707) 565-8255, and website: