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Police: Man arrested for fatally shooting sisters at Texas A&M

Police: Man arrested for fatally shooting sisters at Texas A&M
Classes at Texas A&M University-Commerce where two sisters, one a student at the school, were shot dead earlier this week, will resume on Thursday. Photo by Michael Barera/Wikimedia

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Police on Tuesday arrested and charged a 21-year-old man with capital murder for the targeted, shooting deaths of two sisters at a dormitory at Texas A&M University-Commerce earlier this week, officials said.

The suspect, Jacques Dshawn Smith, is not a student at the university but is believed to have been the boyfriend of Abbaney Matts, one of the two victims, the university said in a statement.

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Police said officers were called to the Pride Rock Residence Hall in the city of Commerce, about 65 miles northeast of Dallas, at around 10:17 a.m. on Monday by a student and discovered the two victims dead at the scene and an injured 2-year-old toddler.

An arrest warrant for Smith was issued based on witness tips and surveillance, the university said.

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Officials earlier identified the two victims as Abbaney, 20, and Deja Matts, a 19-year-old freshman at the university pursuing a Bachelor of Science in public health.

The injured toddler, Abbaney's 2-year-old son, was treated for his injuries and released into the care of family members, the university said.

While the motive of the shooting was not released, police said it appeared to be a "targeted, isolated incident," according to the statement.

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Prior to Smith's arrest, campus police chief Bryan Vaughn did not release any information about the shooter but that "there appears to be no other threats," without elaborating.

"This remains an active investigation with multiple law enforcement agencies assisting," it read.

Police released the 911 recording in which a female can be heard informing the university police operator that she found a gunshot through her wall on returning to her dorm room.

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Classes at the university are closed until Thursday.

University president Mark Rudin said counseling services at the school are being offered to any student needing support following the shooting.

"Our priority is for the safety of each and every member of our community," he said in a statement.

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