Sixteen people died as a result of domestic violence in Santa Clara County last year -- the highest number of deaths in nearly a decade, the district attorney's office announced Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Two of those who died were Imad Ed Daou and his 22-year-old son Andrew Daou. On the night of July 26, 2011, Ed Daou shot his son to death while he slept in the family's Los Gatos home and then took his own life with a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. Ed Daou's wife Carmen and daughter Christina appeared at a Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office news conference Tuesday morning.
Carmen Daou said her husband carried out the act three weeks after she filed for divorce and obtained a restraining order against him that required him to stay away from her and Christina. She said the couple had a history of domestic violence, although no charges were ever filed. Carmen Daou called for a stricter gun confiscation policy by law enforcement.
"It is time to take weapons out of abusers' hands," Daou said. "We can no longer allow them to have the tools to cause harm to innocent victims."
Deputy District Attorney Steve Dick announced a new approach Tuesday to mitigate the issue, in which local law enforcement agencies will ask individuals who are served with protective or restraining orders to voluntarily surrender their firearms and weapons immediately rather than within 24 hours, as is the policy now.
"We offer this in hopes of keeping all persons listed on the protective order safe, as well as the rest of Santa Clara County, in possible future incidents," sheriff's Sgt. Jason Brown said.