On Sunday, March 12, 2023, 18-year-old Artemio Maldonado and 20-year-old Azucena Sanchez were arrested after a mass shooting at a Dallas apartment left two women and four men dead.
Authorities said that Artemio Maldonado and Azucena Sanchez were accused of shooting four people, including the latter’s ex-boyfriend, due to an ongoing custody dispute over their infant.
In a press release, police identified the four victims as 18-year-old Juan Diego Cruz, 20-year-old Jasmine Borjas Santos, 21-year-old Fatima Guadalupe Alvarado Fuentes, and 24-year-old Lupe Cruz. Authorities said that a baby was also found inside the residence, but was unharmed.
The incident took place at a home near the intersection of Marsh Lane and Forest Lane in the Northwest Dallas area.
Dallas murder suspect Azucena Sanchez shared an infant with one of the victims
Detailing the incident in a press release, authorities said that Azucena Sanchez was reportedly involved in a heated custody battle with her child’s father, 18-year-old Juan Diego Cruz, who was the primary guardian of the child.
Authorities said that on Sunday evening, officers responded to a welfare check at a residence after the victims' concerned family members alerted the police when they failed to hear from them for a day. Upon arrival, they discovered four bodies inside the home and a baby who was inside the apartment during the incident but was unharmed.
Shortly after identifying the two suspects, Artemio Maldonado and Azucena Sanchez, police reviewed surveillance footage from the apartment that showed a vehicle matching Maldonado's leaving the apartment around 1:11 a.m. on Sunday.
Authorities then interviewed a neighbor, who spoke about hearing a gunshot past 1 am on Sunday, but admitted to not alerting the authorities. Commenting on the inaction of a potential witness, Dallas police spokesperson Kristin Lowman, said:
"It is important to note that if you hear something, if you see something to contact us, to make that phone call. It may be nothing, but it may be something that ends up being critical to an investigation."
Police then tracked down the suspects a mile from the crime scene, who reportedly confessed to murdering the four victims after they broke into the apartment to steal some petty cash. Authorities also found the murder weapon in the suspect’s car.
During questioning, Azucena Sanchez told police that after breaking into the apartment, which they assumed was empty, they were confronted by the victims, prompting Maldonado to shoot them at the scene.
Officials said that Maldonado and Sanchez were being held at the Dallas County Jail and were charged with capital murder.
The infant found at the scene was taken to a hospital and is currently under the custody of Child Protective Services.