Giancarlo Garza and Gabriella Rodriguez – known as "Gabby" – were expecting to welcome their first baby girl, due in February.
"We had planned real heavily, we would go on all these apps to find gently used bassinets, car seats, carriers—we were set," Garza said. "All we were missing was the bag for the hospital."
He said they picked out a name for their little girl and were expecting her to arrive early.
"Everyone around her saw this happiness that she hadn't been in years," Garza said. "Even before she was pregnant (she had) this glow of happiness before."
Garza said Rodriguez and her two sons spent Christmas with his family.
"She was grateful," Garza said. "She would always say, 'You must have been a dad if your past life because I had a certain way of dealing with the boys that she had never seen."
On Christmas Day, tragedy struck when San Antonio Police said 24-year-old Gabriella Rodriguez and her unborn child were killed during a custody exchange at Rodriguez's ex-boyfriend's home on the 11300 block of Candle Park.
According to police, Rodriguez was with her current boyfriend dropping her two children – ages 2 and 6 – when the boys' father shot Rodriguez, then turned the gun on himself.
The children were apparently inside the home when shots rang out, police said. Garza heard the gunshots and called 911.
"She wasn't in there yesterday for 10 seconds."
Rodriguez and her unborn child were pronounced dead at the scene.
Rodriguez's mother, Rosario Gutierrez, picked up her daughter's vehicle at the northwest side house on Thursday morning.
Gutierrez told KENS 5 her daughter's two young sons were staying with her. They will receive counseling through the help of King's Angels, a non-profit.
While Gutierrez said Rodriguez had life insurance, family created a Facebook fundraiser for funeral arrangements and to help care for the two young boys Rodriguez leaves behind. It has surpassed the goal of $20,000
Gutierrez said her daughter was always with her and helped her through cancer treatments.
"She was my best friend," Gutierrez said.
Garza said he wants Rodriguez to be remembered for her giving heart and how she loved everyone who crossed her path.
"Very caring, generous," Garza said describing Rodriguez. "She would put her boys before anything and then she would put everyone else before her."
Neighbors said Thursday an outdoor security camera captured the moment Rodriguez's 6-year-old son ran out of the home to alert Rodriguez's current boyfriend, who was waiting in the car.
Another neighbor said he heard the aftermath.
"We heard him yelling, 'No, no.'" the neighbor recalled. "He screamed at the top of his lungs. I guess he had walked in and saw what had happened, and we heard screaming. We heard the word 'no' screamed at the top of his lungs."
Authorities have not yet identified the shooter, but family said he remains in critical condition.