REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - The domestic violence incident that ended in the death of a Redwood City man is highlighting shortcomings in domestic violence law. There was a restraining order against him, but that didn't stop the man from threatening his estranged wife with a loaded gun.
Robert Eichen, 43, took his own life in the parking lot of a Redwood City office complex, but, his marriage and life began falling apart in this home a quiet Redwood City street.
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"I'm actually a little shaken because we had no idea," said one neighbor.
Neighbors say they never heard fighting or arguing from the home Eichen shared with his wife and daughter, but, there were other disturbing signs.
"Within the last 6 months or so, always had rifles. He would come out in the middle of the night with a gun or something," said Margot King, a neighbor.
"Like a week ago, I saw four police cars in front of my house," said Judas Faggiolly, also a neighbor.
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That's apparently when police came and seized Eichen's guns after a judge issued a restraining order to keep him away from his ex-wife or face arrest. But, he had access to another, and brought it with him to his ex-wife's job on Tuesday and chased her across the parking lot, firing at least one shot.
When confronted by police, after a brief chase, he turned the gun on himself.
Sadly, many restraining orders are violated," explained Melissa Lukin with CORA, or the group Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse.
"The sad fact is that if somebody's not interested in paying attention to that, there is not much one can do," she said.
Except maybe move in with relatives or go to a shelter. Law enforcement says it's imperative abuse victims call 911, explain that an abuser is violating a protective order and call an abuse hotline for safety.