Bullets kill mom, dreams of new life

first_imgBURBANK – Roxanne Toof Paul had plenty of reasons to smile. The proud single mother was anticipating her second marriage in September and had plans to complete a nursing degree to better look after her two boys. But a blaze of gunfire from a jealous ex-boyfriend shattered her bright future and left her boys motherless. “She was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a very bubbly person and had a beautiful smile,” her sister Cathy Rowley said. “Her two boys were her world. They were her No. 1 priority. … She died trying to save her boys.” For Paul’s fiance, Kevin Reflow, it’s memories of better days that are helping him cope with his loss. “She was always smiling,” said Reflow, 34, of Tarzana. “That’s what got me – it was her eyes and her smile. … We were trying to create a happy home. It was her goal and it was mine.” Paul, the youngest of four siblings, was the hometown girl who married her high school sweetheart. Though they divorced in 2004, it was an amicable separation, Rowley said. She was a devoted mother who relished watching her kids play sports, despite working full-time as a medical assistant to support them. “She was a team mom,” Rowley said. “She was always willing to bring snacks for the kids and caravan the kids.” Yet it was at her job where the seed of tragedy was planted. Paul met Miao when she was working at his father’s Sherman Oaks clinic. They were “friendly” but did not begin dating until last year when she left for a different job, Rowley said. There were early signs Miao, 28, of Reseda, was troubled. According to police and county coroner’s records, he was arrested in 1990 at age 11 for bringing a knife onto school grounds, and in 1994 for assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury. Other arrests – including possession of marijuana, petty theft, forgery, assault and stalking – followed. Paul and Miao broke up after dating for three to five months. That’s when the threats began. Miao was arrested in August 2006 and pleaded not guilty to charges of stalking and threatening another person. “She felt he did not like her kids and he had a very bad temper,” Rowley said. “He was very jealous and … could not accept that she (did not want to) date him anymore.” “The father is deeply sorry for what happened to the victim and with his son,” said Alex Kessel, Miao’s former attorney. “The father is relieved that the children weren’t hurt.” [email protected] (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Paul, 28, was killed early Friday when Garret Miao, who was under a restraining order to stay away from her, kicked down the back door of her Burbank apartment and stormed inside. Dressed in green military fatigues with a ski mask covering his face, Miao fired an assault rifle at the children and shot their mother before killing himself, authorities said. “She had come over to have dinner … and was going over different scenarios of how she wanted to have the wedding,” Rowley said. “That was Thursday night. In the wee hours of Friday morning, Garret murdered her.” Friends and family Monday remembered Paul as a caring and generous mother – another loss for a family that was still mourning Paul’s older brother, who died in February from kidney failure. “The whole thing was a nightmare,” Rowley said. “For my mother to lose her son, and in less than two and a half months we lose her – our main concern is the welfare of her sons.” Paul’s two sons – Joshua, 10, and Brandon, 4 – were not injured in the attack and were under the care of their father, Josh Paul, and other relatives. last_img