A tragic murder-suicide incident in Palmetto Estates, Florida, claimed the life of a respected charter school math teacher, Maria Cruz de la Cruz, according to local law enforcement. The 51-year-old mother and educator was discovered with gunshot wounds in a place of residence, as per Miami-Dade Police Department’s Detective Angel Rodriguez.
The incident occurred on a Friday afternoon around 4:20 p.m. in the 9900 block of SW 165 Terrace.Miami-Dade Police Department responded to reports of a shooting and found an adult male with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. They also discovered another adult male and an adult female, both having sustained gunshot wounds.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue determined the man with the self-inflicted gunshot wound was deceased and transported the other two victims to Jackson South Medical Center in critical condition. Despite medical efforts, Cruz de la Cruz succumbed to her injuries a short time later. Another adult female was present at the scene but was unharmed, and the firearm used in the incident was recovered.
Doral Academy Principal Eleonora Cuesta expressed her grief over the loss of Cruz de la Cruz, praising her compassion, commitment, and love for her students. She assured that the school is committed to providing necessary support to students, including more on-site counselors to help them navigate through the grief of Cruz’s death.
Detective Angel Rodriguez of the Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed that they are not actively looking for any suspects as this is a case of murder-suicide. The motive behind the shooting remains unclear, and detectives are reportedly investigating any possible history of domestic violence.
A neighbor reported hearing the gunshots from his home and immediately called 911. Crime Stoppers has urged anyone with information to contact the police at 305-471-2400.
The school has organized a GoFundMe campaign to support Cruz’s two daughters.