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2 Texans charged with quadruple capital murder after robbery gone wrong ends in massacre

Artemio Maldonado and Azucena Sanchez (Dallas Police Dept.)

Artemio Maldonado and Azucena Sanchez (Dallas Police Dept.)

A 20-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man in Texas have been arrested for allegedly gunning down four adults inside a Dallas residence Sunday evening while leaving an infant unharmed. Azucena Sanchez and Artemio Maldonado were taken into custody Sunday evening and charged with capital murder.

According to a press release from the Dallas Police Department, officers at approximately 7:10 p.m. on March 12 responded to a 911 call regarding a shooting at a residence located in the 3500 block of Villaverde Avenue. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders went inside the apartment where they located four adult victims — two men and two women — all of whom appeared to have been shot to death. All four victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say they were soon able to identify Maldonado and Sanchez as suspects in the shooting. Police at approximately 9:30 p.m. located the suspects at a residence located in the 2700 block of Northhaven Road. Both suspects at around 10 p.m. were taken into custody and charged with capital murder.

Police noted in the release that “an infant was in the apartment during the shooting but was not hurt.”

According to a sworn affidavit of probable cause obtained by Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA, one of the four shooting victims had previously been in a relationship with Sanchez and the two were in the midst of a custody dispute at the time of the shootings. Several relatives reportedly confirmed to police that Sanchez and Maldonado had threatened the former boyfriend several times.

A neighbor reportedly told investigators that he heard what may have been gunshots at around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, but decided not to call the police. Investigators said they obtained security camera footage that showed a car belonging to Maldonado leaving the apartment building complex at around 1:11 a.m. on Sunday.

After being taken into custody, police say that Maldonado confessed to shooting all four of the victims, WFAA reported. He reportedly explained that Sanchez broke into the apartment through a window in one of the back bedrooms. Once they were both inside, he reportedly said they had a “confrontation” with the four occupants that ended with him shooting all of the adults.

Sanchez allegedly said she believed the apartment was empty at the time she broke in, telling police that the plan was only to steal some money. Sanchez confirmed that a “confrontation” ensued and Maldonado shot the four victims, WFAA reported.

The two said they stole a box from the bedroom closet before leaving, believing it was filled with cash, but later found out that the box was empty.

The infant was placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.