Man arrested in slaying of two sisters at Texas dormitory

COMMERCE (AP) — A man has been arrested in the fatal shooting at a university dormitory in Texas of a woman believed to be his ex-girlfriend and her sister and the wounding of a two-year-old boy, school officials said on Tuesday.

Texas A&M University-Commerce said Jacques Dshawn Smith, 21, was arrested on a charge of capital murder in the shooting deaths on Monday of Deja Matts, 19, and Abbaney Matts, 20, at Pride Rock residence hall on the campus in Commerce, about 105 kilometres northeast of Dallas.

Officials of the Dallas suburb of Garland said Deja Matts was a freshman at the university pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Public Health.

Officials said Smith is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of Abbaney Matts. Neither Abbaney Matts nor Smith were students at the school.

The wounded two-year-old was Abbaney Matts’ son. The child has been released from the hospital and is being cared for by family, officials said. Prior to announcing the arrest of Smith on Tuesday afternoon, police had not identified a shooter or said they were seeking a suspect in the shooting.

Police had said it appeared to have been “a targetted, isolated event”. Police said an arrest warrant for Smith was obtained through the use of surveillance and witness tips. It was unclear where Smith was being held or if he had an attorney.

On Tuesday, police released audio of the 911 call they received on Monday morning from a student who said she’d returned to her dorm room after class and found a hole in her wall with a nick in her calendar directly across from it.

“So it looks like something was shot through the wall and hit my calendar. And the wall is like all broken apart,” she said. She said she tried to look for an “object” that would have fallen once it hit but she couldn’t find anything.

In October 2019, two people were killed and a dozen others injured in an off-campus shooting at a homecoming and Halloween party involving Texas A&M-Commerce students.