A Fayetteville, North Carolina, police officer fatally shot his wife before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide last month, according to the state’s investigation.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) released a statement on May 3 to confirm the grim report.
“When he failed to report and his supervisors were unable to contact him by phone, that’s what prompted them to go by and check on him at his residence,” Fayetteville Police Chief Kemberle Braden. told reporters during a press briefing.
Officer Domingo Tavarez-Rodriguez, 53, and his wife, Yenitza Arroyo-Torres, 44, were both found dead from gunshot wounds inside their home, according to Braden.
The NCSBI was called to investigate since the deaths involved a police officer. The early investigation revealed that Yenitza was shot multiple times while her husband, Domingo, was dead from a single gunshot.
Tavarez-Rodriguez had been with the department since 2021 and was also a military veteran, according to police.
The Fayetteville Observer also reported that the couple had recently married, celebrating their vows on Oct. 13, 2022. A neighbor named Dennis Corbin said that the couple had moved into his subdivision about five years ago and that he had become friends with the officer whom he nicknamed Mingo.
Corbin noted that the officer struggled with PTSD from his time in the military and was shocked at the loss of his friend and neighbors.
“While I’m gonna go home, Mingo is not gonna be there. He is not going to come out of the house sometime later on today or tomorrow,” said Corbin. “I am not gonna see him waving when he is driving out to work or coming back in.”
The investigation’s finding came after some concern was previously expressed that the officer may have been targeted due to serving in law enforcement. The initial reports also left open the possibility that the deaths involved additional people involved, an option later ruled out by investigators.
Doris River, the daughter of Yenitza, turned to GoFundMe to seek assistance with her mother’s funeral expenses.
“She sadly passed away on April 28th in the most tragic way it was so unexpected that I had to come to the community for a little help iam grateful with anything you guys can donate everything will go for her funeral costs and shipment to Puerto Rico where she will be layed to rest,” she wrote. “I wanna thank every one that has kept my family in there prayers it truly means a lot she was loved by so many people and that gives me a little peace in my heart god bless you all.”