The Texas mother of three young children killed by her ex-husband earlier this month says he has “won.”
Amanda Simpson survived what police say was Justin Painter’s fatal shooting of the kids and her boyfriend at her home in Ponder on May 16. Painter also killed himself.
The 29-year-old Simpson tells HuffPost in an interview published Saturday that Painter intentionally left her alive to make her feel more pain.
“My kids were my coping mechanism, and now they are gone,” Simpson told HuffPost. “He knew when he took them from me, he took everything. He’s won.”
On the morning of the 16th, she was asleep with boyfriend Seth Richardson when she heard gunshots. “Seth!” she screamed, according to HuffPost. “Seth!”
Painter, who had custody of the children, was in the doorway.
“Seth’s dead. The kids are dead. And you’re going to have to live with it,” Painter told her, according to HuffPost.
He had killed 4-year-old Drake, 8-year-old Odin and 6-year-old Caydence. Their mom was left alive, but she was wounded in the mass shooting.
In a video made from the hospital after the slayings, Simpson said the judge in her divorce suit ignored her warning about her husband. She said she told the judge Painter had attempted suicide.
“Because I don’t know if anybody knows, but Justin tried to commit suicide a year ago,” she said. “And I made it very clear to the judge that he was mentally unstable. And they didn’t listen, so now I don’t have my babies. You guys know they were my everything, my purpose to breathe.”
Painter had hoped for reconciliation after their divorce, but “I told him I couldn’t. He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it.”
She said that every time she closes her eyes, she sees her kids dead.