Charter-school math teacher and second victim fall victim to murder-suicide in Florida

07:04 04.09.2023

In a tragic incident that has shocked the community, a beloved math teacher was killed in a murder-suicide in Palmetto Estates, a neighborhood located south of Miami, Florida. The victim, identified as Maria Cruz de la Cruz, 51, had dedicated nearly a decade of her life to teaching at the Doral Academy K-8 Charter School in Doral, Florida.

The horrifying event took place on Friday afternoon when police responded to reports of gunshots at a residence in Palmetto Estates. Upon arrival, they discovered Maria Cruz inside the home with a gunshot wound. She was rushed to Jackson South Medical Center for treatment, but tragically succumbed to her injuries.

Authorities also found another male victim at the scene who had been shot by the assailant. The condition of the male victim was not disclosed, leaving the community anxiously awaiting updates on his well-being. However, it was revealed that the suspect, whose identity has not been made public, turned the gun on himself, ending his own life. The lifeless body of the shooter was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a firearm lay adjacent to him on the floor.

The devastating news of Maria Cruz's death has left the Doral Academy K-8 Charter School community in mourning. Principal Eleanora Cuesta expressed her condolences, saying, "It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the loss of our cherished Ms. Maria Cruz. Her compassion, commitment, and love for her students have left an indelible mark on us all." The school has created a GoFundMe page to support Cruz's two daughters during this difficult time, and the community has rallied together, raising over $29,000 in just a few days.

Neighbors in Palmetto Estates were taken aback by the tragedy, as the occupants of the house where the shooting occurred were relatively new to the area. A resident who heard the gunshots from his home immediately called 911, prompting a swift response from law enforcement. Another neighbor, Raidel Munoz, expressed shock, stating, "Quite very concerning, I never expected something like this so close to my home."

As investigations continue, the events leading up to the murder-suicide remain unclear. The Miami-Dade Police Department has yet to provide further details, leaving the community anxious for answers. Meanwhile, residents are grappling with the realization that violence can strike so unexpectedly in their seemingly peaceful neighborhood.

It is important to note that resources are available for those struggling with mental health issues or experiencing suicidal thoughts. In New York City, individuals can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling, while those outside the city can reach the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or visit

/ Monday, September 4, 2023, 7:04 AM /

themes:  Shooting  Florida  New York City  New York (state)

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