DALLAS – The search for a Dallas gunman accused of murdering four family members and injuring another Sunday afternoon came to an end later in the night, and about 200 miles away, after he reportedly died by suicide during a pursuit with state troopers near Austin.
Officers with the Dallas Police Department first responded to reports of a shooting in the 9700 block of Royce Drive at about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, authorities said, according to NBC 5 DFW.
Upon arrival, police discovered the bodies of three adults, Vanessa De la Cruz, 20, Karina Lopez, 33, and Jose Lopez, 50, as well as two injured children, a 15-year-old girl and 1-year-old Logan De La Cruz. Another 13-year-old girl was at the residence at the time of the shooting, but managed to avoid injury.
According to law enforcement authorities, the 1-year-old boy was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Fortunately, the teenage girl survived. She was treated and released.
The murder suspect was quickly identified as 21-year-old Byron Carrillo, according to Dallas Police officials. Relatives said the murder victims include Carrillo’s ex-girlfriend, her parents, and his own small child.
“It hasn’t sunk in, I mean I wish they were still here but I can’t believe they’re not,” said a sister of Karina Lopez and aunt of Vanessa De la Cruz, who did not want to be identified. She also said her other nieces witnessed the atrocity.
“They’re broken-hearted, traumatized, because they saw what happened,” said the aunt about the 15-year-old who was shot and the 13-year-old who hid from the gunman. She said Karina Lopez had five daughters, two others were not home when the killings took place.
Carrillo was ordered to wear an ankle monitor on his leg as a bond condition from a 2021 aggravated assault charge where he aimed a handgun at his girlfriend and her father. However, at some point before or after the shootings on Sunday, he cut it off, stole a Jeep Grand Cherokee and headed south on I-35 toward Central Texas, officials said.
State troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety were alerted to the vehicle as well as Carrillo’s likely direction of travel.
At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, a trooper located a vehicle that matched the description and tried to stop the driver. However, the suspect failed to yield before crashing into a ditch near exit 238 in North Austin.
According to DPS, the man ran from the scene of the collision and went behind a business on the southbound access road.
While trying to flee from troopers, the suspect stopped in a parking lot and shot himself in the head, Dallas Police confirmed. He later died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Carrillo was out of custody on a $100,000 bond at the time of the murders. Bond conditions set forth in November required him to wear the ankle monitor and he was prohibited from consuming alcohol or possessing a firearm. Moreover, he wasn’t allowed to contact the victims, court documents revealed.
Family members of the murder victims said Carrillo had a history of violence with Vanessa before their 1-year-old son was born, NBC 5 reported.
Despite the requirements that were established when Carrillo was released on bond, he lived right next door to the victims, relatives said.
“My niece was tired of it, so she moved in here, to my sister and brother-in-law’s house,” said the aunt about the recent move days ago.
“The baby’s father he always threatened the family, that some, someday they would be killed. It’s not the first time there have been guns pointed their way before that,” said the aunt.
Last year, Texas passed a law that makes ankle monitor tampering a third-degree felony, not that it helped the victims in this case.
“The law is great on paper,” said Dr. Alex Del Carmen, criminal justice professor at Tarleton State University. “The problem with the law is that it assumes that all the offenders are rational and that they’re going to weigh out the possibility of committing another crime by cutting into that particular ankle bracelet.”
The process that allowed a criminal defendant, like Carrillo, to get an ankle monitor in the first place needs to be reviewed, Del Carmen said, reported NBC 5.
Carillo’s death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, according to the Dallas Police Department.