North Texas Daily

UNT student and family killed in Mesquite

UNT student and family killed in Mesquite

March 15
21:11 2013

Areli Chavez/Intern

The life of a 21-year-old UNT student was cut short along with her brother and father  after they were shot and killed by their 43-year-old mother and wife  on March 9 before she turned fire on herself, investigators said

The bodies of criminal justice sophomore Paulina Vazquez, 18-year-old Alex Vazquez, 44-year-old Marcelo Vazquez, and 43-year-old Angelica Vazquez were found on the morning of March 13, four days after police responded to a 911 call reporting the sound of gunfire.

Police said they did not find sufficient reason to force their entry that Saturday until they returned Wednesday.

“They noticed mail in the mailbox that was uncollected and newspapers in the front yard,” Mesquite Police Lt. Bill Hedgpeth said. “The decision was made to force entry into the locked home, at which point the officers discovered the bodies.”

A handgun was found in the master bedroom next to Angelica Vazquez’s body, while the bodies of her children and husband were found in other rooms, Hedgpeth said.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner ruled the deaths as a triple murder and suicide.

Family friend Gustavo Herrera said Paulina was home in Mesquite visiting her family for spring break. She was a student assistant who recently transferred from Richland College.

Out of respect for Vazquez, the UNT flag will be flown at half-staff for seven days on the South Library Lawn, according to UNT Inhouse.

“Being in Denton far from her family and friends was something new for her and [she] always looked forward to returning home on the weekend,” close friend Gabriela de la Torre said.

Paulina Vazquez graduated Mesquite High School in 2010. She was part of the school drill team, and was also named Miss Skeeter during homecoming her graduating year.

“I’m still in shock and disbelief my best friend is gone,” friend Arial Flores said.

A candlelight vigil was held Friday night outside of the Vazquez’s Mesquite home.

“She kept any memory of the present as much as she could and would say ‘we will laugh about this later in life’,’” family friend Patricia Lozano said. “We love and miss her and will always cherish each and every moment that we shared with her.”

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