Friends remember Phoenix family murdered on Christmas Day - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Friends remember Phoenix family murdered on Christmas Day

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(Source: 12 News) (Source: 12 News)

PHOENIX - Two days after Iris Ross and her children, Nigel and Anora, were killed, friends have created a memorial for them.

"They were beautiful people," said Will Tucker. He and his wife were close friends with Iris and her kids.

"Nigel was a beam of light. Anora was a strength," continued Nadia Tucker. "It was as if she didn't care for baby talk, just talk to me real."

The couple united with more friends and neighbors in The Highland apartment complex Wednesday. Together, they returned to the place where Iris was killed on Christmas Day.

Police say her ex-husband, Anthony Milan Ross, killed her as she was running away from him. She was at his apartment to pick up their kids. Then, he turned the gun on Nigel and Anora.

RELATED: Phoenix father faces 3 murder charges in kids', ex-wife's shooting

"She told me she was gonna pick up the kids. I had a fleeting thought of saying to her, 'Why don't you have him meet you in the Whole Foods parking lot?' ... and I didn't," said Iris' friend and roommate Lushanya Echeverria.

Echeverria told 12 News she always had a sinking feeling about Milan Ross. While he may have seemed like a weight-loss icon who had it all together to the public, she said he was erratic and controlling.

"There was some ugliness around how he would speak to her in front of the kids. One minute he'd be calling her a lying wh**e," said Echeverria. "And then five minutes later 'I love you.'"

Echeverria said there were several red flags over the course of their relationship. One was when Iris discovered Milan had been married before and had abandoned his wife and kids.

The biggest cause for concern for Echeverria, however, came just a few weeks ago. She says Milan bought a gun.

"When he got that pistol, that was a red flag for me," she said.

Those who knew and loved Iris and her young children are having a difficult time coping. They are trying to focus on the good times rather than the horror that took place on Christmas.

"We are going to remember Anora and Nigel and Iris and celebrate their lives," said Tucker.

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