On Friday, Yesenia Gutierrez was home alone with her 3-year-old son in the family's west Fort Worth apartment.
Just after noon, burglars broke into the apartment and Gutierrez fought with one to keep him from entering the room where her young son was sleeping, a cousin said.
Minutes later, she was killed when one of the burglars opened fire, the relative said.
"She fought hard to keep the burglars from entering the room," Imelda Sanchez wrote on a GoFundMe account established for her 31-year-old cousin. "She was a brave dedicated mother of 3 boys and a daughter."
Police did not comment Monday on what family members say happened to Gutierrez.
On Monday, officials with the Tarrant County medical examiner's office ruled Gutierrez died from gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Police have released few details on the slaying.
Officers responding to a shooting call shortly before 12:30 p.m. at the apartment in the 8200 block of Calmont Ave. at the Manitoba Apartments located Gutierrez's body in the family's dining room. She had a gunshot wound to her upper body, according to police.
It's unknown whether police have a suspect or suspects in the case.
A native of Illinois, Gutierrez had been living in Texas with her husband and family. It wasn't immediately clear where her husband or the other children were during the break-in Friday.
"If you had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with her, you know how generous and kind she was," her cousin wrote of Gutierrez.
The GoFundMe account is to raise funds to pay for her funeral, her family said.