Posted on November 18, 2004

Pregnant Wife Of Soldier In Iraq Shot In Head

NBC 10 (Philadelphia), November 16, 2004

A Pennsylvania man is charged with shooting the pregnant wife of a soldier in Iraq, just because — according to police — he wanted to kill somebody.

Police said Noel Gomez, 19, shot the woman late Sunday night.

Julia Cook, 21, of New York, remains hospitalized at a hospital in York. She is listed in serious condition after being shot in the head with a shotgun.

Cook’s husband is currently serving in Iraq.

Gomez said he didn’t know the victim, but was just was looking for someone to kill, according to court papers.

Gomez had his hands and legs shackled as police brought him before a district justice Monday. Police said Gomez, a ninth-grade York city dropout, told them he was planning on shooting and killing someone.

When he saw Cook, who is six months pregnant, walking to her car in the parking lot of a Giant supermarket in West Manchester Township, Gomez allegedly opened fire with a shotgun. Gomez allegedly told police it was his intent to kill her.

“It makes absolutely no sense. There was a real danger of him continuing this beyond what happened (Sunday) night,” York County District Attorney Stan Rebert said.

About six hours after the shooting, the suspect’s car was spotted a few miles away at a motel along Route 30. Rebert credited York County Detective Matt Millsaps with finding it.

“He just took it upon himself to look at every parking lot and motel, and he nailed him,” Rebert said.

According to the York School District, Gomez dropped out of the ninth grade in 2003. A spokesperson said Gomez didn’t attend much school.

Rebert said the suspect reminds him of serial killer Mark Spotz. He said if the victim does not survive her injuries, he will seek the death penalty for Gomez.