Two Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide at North Dallas Apartments

North Dallas
Police tape | Image by Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

Dallas police have opened an investigation into an apparent murder-suicide that occurred over the weekend.

The bodies of 29-year-old Brenda Cruz and 28-year-old Jesus Magana were discovered by officers performing a welfare check on an apartment located in the 10000 block of Steppington Drive in North Dallas at about 10:45 a.m. on December 30. Both victims had sustained fatal gunshot wounds.

Investigators believe that Magana shot Cruz and then turned the weapon on himself, according to Dallas police. However, the fatal shooting is still under investigation.

Dallas police did not divulge what prompted the welfare check nor the relationship between the two individuals.

The incident occurred in Council Member Jaynie Schultz’s District 11, which saw a high concentration of shoplifting offenses in 2023, as previously covered in The Dallas Express.

Citywide, the murder rate jumped 15% in 2023 compared to the year prior, with 246 offenses reported, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. Of these homicides, 30 were categorized as “family violence crimes.”

Incidents in which a person kills multiple family members in a single event have become more frequent across Texas. In December, four members of a family — including a toddler — were fatally shot in their home located in Council Member Tennell Atkins’ District 8. The accused shooter lived next door to the victims, had made prior threats of violence against them, and had been wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the murders. He allegedly shot himself while being pursued by police.

The Dallas Police Department has been struggling to curb the city’s murder rate amid a serious staffing shortage. Only around 3,000 officers are currently in its ranks despite a City report recommending 4,000.

The effects of this officer shortfall are most apparent in Downtown Dallas. When compared to the downtown area of Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a specialized police unit and private security guards, Downtown Dallas clocks significantly higher rates of criminal activity.

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