Friends and family gathered Monday night to mourn an Allentown mother of four who police say was killed by her boyfriend in a shooting that also injured her teen daughter.
The shooting occurred at a home on the 900 block of West Tilghman Street in Allentown Sunday around 2 a.m. A witness, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10 she heard the shooting.
“I heard like five or six shots it sounded like,” she said. “I’m hearing this, ‘pop, pop, pop, pop.”
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She then heard the sound of someone screaming.
“A blood curdling scream,” she said. “Somebody’s dying type scream.”
Allentown Police were called to the home. When they arrived, they found 39-year-old Dagmary Baez-Arocho and her 17-year-old daughter inside. Both victims were suffering from gunshot wounds.
Baez-Arocho and her daughter were taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. Baez-Arocho was later pronounced dead while her daughter is in stable condition.
Baez-Arocho’s boyfriend Angel Manuel Cruz, who police say lived with the victims, was arrested in connection to the shooting. Cruz, 54, was later charged with criminal homicide, criminal attempt to commit homicide and aggravated assault.
Police have not yet released a motive behind the shooting. It’s a question that haunts those who knew and loved Baez-Arocho.
“I guess she wanted him to leave and stuff and he was obsessed probably,” said Maria Rivera, a relative of the victim.
Rivera told NBC10 it was just last week when they were planning a Halloween night.
“I’m making her arrangements now for the funeral home and all that,” Rivera said.
Baez-Arocho’s daughter is expected to survive the shooting. Rivera knows that the emotional wounds may be even harder for her to recover from than the physical ones.
“We just told her today,” Rivera said. “But she had the feeling that her mom did pass away.
In addition to her 17-year-old daughter, Baez-Arocho is also survived by three other children. Rivera says the family will do their best to try and fill the void.
“You can never replace a mom,” Rivera said. “So it is going to be really hard.”
A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in Allentown as loved ones gathered to remember Baez-Arocho.
While Cruz has been arrested, officials continue to investigate the shooting. If you have any information, please call the Allentown Police Detective Bureau at 610-437-7721.