BATON ROUGE - It's hard to image that just steps away from a bullet-riddled car covered with a tarp to hide the blood stains from their mother's murder, two, smiling kids play with toys given to them so they don't feel left behind this Christmas.
Tre'vonte and Krissell Peck are living with their aunt. Their aunt, suddenly a mother to two new children after her sister, April, was gunned down on Essen Lane at the end of November. April's live-in, yet estranged boyfriend shot her then attacked good Samaritans who tried to revive her. Not long after the melee, sheriff's deputies shot the man.
Weeks later, the pain still stings. But, things are better than anyone expected. The East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office, who would have prosecuted the gunman if he survived, has adopted the family.
"(District Attorney Hillar Moore's daughter) text and said, 'I have the boy's Christmas tree and I want you to pick it up,'" the boys' aunt, Dannlleshia Peck, explained to News 2 reporter Brett Buffington about the surprise generosity.
Peck said up until the donations, she was having trouble realizing her sister was not going to be around.
"It just made it hard, just decorate the tree without her," she said.
With some help, she is looking forward to the holidays with her larger family.
"When you're so close to someone, it's not a favor. It's more of a duty," she said about taking in the boys.
April Peck was a victim of domestic violence and proof relationships can take deadly, violent turns.
Her case is one of many in the area, and it's why just this week authorities asked for people to be vigilant.
"Devise a safety plan," Domestic Violence Coordinator Suzanne Hamilton said. "Have a bag packed. Have a phone in a room that's able to be locked. Have a code word if you have friends or children that they know."
Click HERE for a link to information if you or someone you know needs help.
While Peck was dying, numerous good Samaritans stopped to render aid before being attacked by her abuser. Among those was Central High School Student Daniel Wesley. Wesley was shot and hit by the bullet riddled car. As WBRZ reported exclusively, he was released from the hospital Friday. Peck's family has also met with Wesley.
Click HERE for a link if you'd like to help the Peck family.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Surveillance video captures car theft at Millerville Road gas station
Body cam footage of lawyer's DWI arrest
Area restaurants donate portion of Tuesday's sales to families of fallen officers
Despite video of prominent attorney's DWI arrest, prosecutor throws out charges
Police identify woman found shot, killed inside wrecked car