Family of Annemarie Bautch, shot and killed Monday, remembers her

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A funeral is being planned this weekend for Annemarie Bautch -- a mother of two gunned down on Monday by her ex-boyfriend. That man then turned the gun on himself. Bautch's family, gathering to mourn, shared a message for others in violent relationships.

On Thursday morning, April 11th, Bautch, strong in her Christian faith, was the focus of prayer. Her two children, Nick and Olivia, five siblings and parents gathered -- and many forgave her killer and ex-boyfriend Daniel Billings.

"Most of the siblings are in a forgiveness mode today more than anything else. I'm not at that point -- but there's a senior in high school who says he 100% fully forgives him," Bautch's brother, Michael Bautch said.

Family members say the healing will be slow, but on Monday morning, everything happened quickly. Billings approached Bautch as she sat in her van, and fired two shots.

"The car was still in reverse. Her foot was still on the brake. Her coffee in her coffee cup holder was still untouched. She was just trying to get out of the driveway to go to work," Michael Bautch said.

Michael Bautch says the family never thought it would get to that point, although the violent warning signs were there. Three years ago, Bautch says his sister was hospitalized with injuries after Billings beat her. The family tried to intervene, but Annemarie didn't want Billings to go to jail. Michael Bautch says he wishes the family would have insisted more.

"He was an angry person. He beat her pretty bad. She went into the hospital. It took recovery time," Bautch said.

On Thursday in Brown Deer, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen spoke to law enforcement officials and others who work with domestic violence victims. Brown Deer is the community where a violent husband beat his wife and was eventually responsible for a mass shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield.

In the Bautch case, Billings was a felon and was not supposed to be in possession of a gun.

"There are people who are going to do things that are wrong and just horrible and we're not going to prevent all of them," Van Hollen said.

"It could have been a pipe, a knife, a fist -- the weapon makes no difference to the family or to me," Bautch said.

There is a fund established for the education of Annemarie Bautch's children at Tri-City Bank.