4 dead in shooting possibly linked to custody battle, police say; 2 charged with murder

The deadly shooting of four people early Sunday at an apartment complex in northwest Dallas may have been started by a custody battle, police say.

Relatives of the victims found them dead at the Arlo Apartment Homes complex on the 3500 block of Villaverde Avenue near Forest and Marsh Lanes just after 7 p.m. Sunday, Dallas Police said. A toddler was also in the home but was not injured.

Family members told police that Artemio Maldonado, 18, and Azucena Sanchez, 20, may have killed the group, according to court records. One of the victims was dating Sanchez, and the two are in a custody battle over their son, relatives said.

Security video showed a black Ford Mustang, similar to Maldonado’s, exiting the condominium just after 1 a.m. Sunday. A neighbor told police he thought he heard gunshots but did not report them, according to the affidavit.

A few hours after the victims were found, police said they found Maldonado’s Mustang on Northhaven Road, about 2.5 miles from the scene. Maldonado and Sanchez were taken into custody.

According to their affidavits, both admitted to the murders. Sanchez told police they broke in through a bedroom window. She said she believed no one was home and that they were there to rob the home, court records show.

At the apartment, the victims confronted Maldonado and Sanchez. According to court documents, Maldonado admitted to shooting them all.

Maldonado and Sanchez are both charged with murder. It is not clear if any of them have a lawyer.

It was a particularly violent weekend across the city: An 11-year-old boy died after he and his mother were shot dead by their alleged ex-boyfriend in north Dallas on Saturday; A 47-year-old man was killed in South Dallas on Saturday and another child was injured in downtown Oak Cliff on Saturday. No one was arrested in the last two incidents.

Sunday’s shooting was the third mass shooting — typically defined as four or more people killed or wounded in one location — in as many months in Dallas, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks incidents of gun violence across the United States

On January 6, three people were killed and two injured when a group was shot dead in the parking lot of an apartment complex in far north Dallas. And one person was killed and three injured – including a 6-year-old child – in a Jan. 30 shooting in southeast Oak Cliff.

Comments are closed.