An FBI agent was charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony in the shooting death of his wife three weeks ago.
Agent Arthur Gonzales called 911 the afternoon of April 19 to report he shot his estranged wife, 42-year-old Julie Serna Gonzales, after she attacked him with a knife in their rural Stafford County home
When Stafford County deputies arrived, they found her dead. A friend of Gonzales told News4’s Northern Virginia Bureau the mother of two was shot four times -- hit in the head and chest.
The woman lived near Las Cruces, N.M., before moving to Stafford with her husband and two sons.
"We are elated," said Donna Ulibarri-Peralta, a friend from New Mexico, when she learned of the charges.
Ulibarri-Peralta created a Facebook tribute page called "Julie Strong" to honor her friend’s life.
"She was such a beautiful person, and anybody who knew Julie, knew what a beautiful person she was. She could make a room light up," said Ulibarri-Peralta.
She is selling "Julie Strong” wristbands and T-shirts through the Facebook page to raise money to set up a college fund for Gonzales's sons, aged 10 and 12. Ulibarri-Peralta said she and other friends were frustrated that so much time passed without charges. They worried that justice might not be done because Arthur Gonzales is an FBI agent.
A memorial service was recently held for Gonzales in Triangle, Va. A funeral service was held May 4 in her hometown of Socorro, N.M.
Follow Julie Carey on Twitter at @JulieCareyNBC