McKINNEY -- Brandy Bristol first met and bonded with 36-year-old Melissa Williams at the McKinney day care center where Williams was gunned down just after she had picked up her two youngest children Thursday evening.
Not only were both women mothers, they both have five children.
“It didn’t seem like anything was going wrong in her life,” Bristol said. “She was very happy to be a mommy. She was always happy to talk about baby stuff with me, and I was always happy to talk about it with her.”
Police say Williams' estranged husband, 33-year-old Cedric McFail, approached her vehicle after an argument in the parking lot at the Discovery Learning Center, located in the 1800 block of W. White Avenue. Then, he opened fire with the children inside.
McFail took off and later took his own life at house on Frontier Lane. Police said he went inside a home, had a brief conversation with someone there before shooting himself.
Bristol said Williams had a new baby boy. Her older child played with Williams’ 5-year-old. She said Williams never expressed concerns that she might be in danger. Court records show Williams filed for divorce in October 2013. Friends said McFail had been depressed since the break up.
Twenty-four hours later, Bristol said she can't believe it occurred just across the street from her home.
“Right across the street from my house, a mom was murdered,” Bristol said. “And her baby saw it. And my babies are here. What if a stray bullet had hit those kids over there? I mean, this is too much."
Since 2009, Williams had worked for Collin County Community Supervision and Corrections in the administrative department. Co-workers say she had a kind, giving spirit and a wonderful attitude. Friday, the day care center was open and grief counselors were brought in.
Chaplain Doug Roberts is with Victim Relief Ministries.
“It is definitely a stressful situation for them," Roberts said. “It will take some time for the grief process to work its way through for everybody.”
Bristol said she couldn’t stop thinking about Williams’ children.
“Now those babies are orphans,” she said. “It’s just too close to home.”
Police said the children are in the care of Child Protective Services and that the incident is an ongoing investigation. Detectives are continuing to interview witnesses and gather evidence from both crime scenes.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the McKinney Police Department at 972.547.2700.