Victims shot multiple times with illegal guns and children witnessing the horrific violence.
That's just part of what a study revealed about deadly domestic violence cases in Mecklenburg County this year.
Jane Taylor with the Safe Alliance Shelter for Battered Women is a part of a special team that reviews four deadly domestic violence cases a year.
In its latest study, all four victims were killed killed with guns. According to the report, "In two cases handguns were used, in one a shotgun, and in the other an AK-47."
Three of shooters had criminal backgrounds and legally were not allowed to have firearms.
Taylor said, "The availability of guns has created much more serious injuries to the victims we work with and much more access to kill."
One of the most disturbing elements the study, children were present when the violence happened.
Taylor said in some of the cases her team reviewed children even witnessed their mother's being killed.
"It's certainly a huge trauma that they have to deal with," she said.
The report also found that most of the suspects had problems with substance abuse including alcohol, crack and synthetic marijuana.
Taylor said the team has developed recommendations to address its findings and will also give Mecklenburg County commissioners an update on preventative efforts already in place.
"If we're making these gaps known then we really need the backing to try and do something about them," said Taylor.
Some of the efforts include a special questionnaire currently used by CMPD officers to assess the risk of death domestic violence victims face and immediately connect them with agencies to help them escape.
There's also a safe haven drop off point in the works where victims can meet their former partners to drop off their children for visitations.