A Texas middle school teacher is accused of gunning down two of his neighbors after a Halloween party, police say.
Cary Heath, 35, is facing capital murder charges in the deaths of Phillip Garcia, who was identified by police as Phillip Evans, and Daniel Haros, both 25, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Haros and Evans were shot dead in the early morning hours of October 23 in the Fort Worth neighborhood where they lived a few door downs from Heath, police said.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ‘This Is the Last Time I’ll See the Baby. I Killed Two People’
The Fort Worth Police Department said they began investigating the double homicide at 828 Buffalo Springs Drive about 4 a.m. on October 23, according to the arrest affidavit filed by detectives.
Police responded to the home and found two men who had been shot dead.
You can read the affidavit below:
The 911 caller said multiple gunshots had been heard outside their house.
“After the gunshots stopped (the caller) opened the door and saw a white male standing over Daniel (Haros) and was striking him with the butt of the rifle,” according to the affidavit. “(The caller) yelled for the suspect to stop and the suspect pointed the weapon,” at the caller and asked if they “had a problem.”
Another neighbor told detectives he had a “small Halloween gathering at his house” on the night of October 22 and early morning of October 23. The man said Heath and his wife, Tiffany Heath, were at the party.
“While everyone stood in the front yard, his neighbors (Daniel Haros, Phillip Evans and two others) came over to visit for less than five minutes,” according to the affidavit. “According to (the party host) the conversation was friendly and cordial.”
The party host said after Haros, Evans and the others went back home, “Tiffany Heath went back into his house as Cary walked next door to his house.”
The witness said he heard “multiple gunshots” a few minutes later, and Heath ran into the house and gave his 1-year-old baby to a person whose name was redacted in the document, saying, “This is the last time I will see the baby. I killed two people.”
Heath then ran out of the house, according to the affidavit.
Tiffany Heath “then ran outside and a short time later came back to (the house where the party was) and told them that she saw a dead person in the driveway across the street.”
Tiffany Heath told police “after hearing the gunshots her husband, Cary, told her that someone was dead across the street. Tiffany walked across the street and saw a dead person in the driveway across the street.
Heath’s wife told police, “Cary admitted to her that he was responsible for the two murders. Cary asked her to clean the blood in the gun safe where he kept his firearms.”
Tiffany Heath was arrested on October 27 on charges of tampering with evidence, according to KTVT-TV.
Police said they found multiple rifles in Heath’s house.
Many questions about what led up the shooting remain unanswered. Police have said Heath is not cooperating with investigator. It is not clear if a motive for the shooting has been established.
The two men died of multiple gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma, police said.
2. He Went to Work at the Middle School the Morning After the Shooting & Was Arrested in the Afternoon
Heath went to work at Permenter Middle School in Cedar Hill the morning after the shooting, KTVT-TV reports. He was not arrested until the afternoon in the parking lot of the school.
Heath has been placed on administrative leave by the school district.
According to the Cedar Hill ISD website, Heath is in his first year of teaching at the school. He teaches eighth grade science.
He is a father of four children.
3. Heath Is a Member of the Texas Air National Guard & Is an Air Force Veteran
Heath is a member of the Texas Air National Guard, the Dallas Morning News reports. He is based in Fort Worth.
He previously served in the Air Force.
According to his Linkedin profile, Heath joined the Air Force in December 2007 and is an avionics technician in the Air National Guard.
“Avionics Technician and NCO in The Texas Air National Guard,” he says on Linkedin. “Troubleshoot and maintain integrated avionics systems on C-130H aircraft.”
He also worked as an audio technician at a local audio and visual company from November 2001 to June 2008.
Heath studied kinesiology and exercise sciences at the University of Texas at Arlington and mechanical engineering at Tarrant County College.
4. Garcia & Haros Had Been Friends Since Childhood & Were ‘Truly Innocent Victims by All Accounts, in Every Sense of the Word,’ Garcia’s Mother Says
Phillip Garcia, also known as Phillip Evans, and Daniel Haros, both 25, were childhood friends and roommates at Haros’ mother’s house, KHOU-TV reports.
Garcia’s mother, Paige Hudson Garcia, wrote on Facebook, “Our sons were defenseless and unarmed (in their ‘pajamas’ in the front yard of their home) – truly innocent victims by all accounts, in every sense of the word.”
She said, “The murderer did not know our sons, the shooting was completely senseless (almost random) but he is NOT remorseful (which is how he was caught).”
Destinee Barry, a friend from high school, told KHOU about Haros and Garcia, “If you see one, you would always see the other. They were inseparable.”
Christina Aguirre, another friend, told the news station, “They didn’t deserve any of that, and now this. I mean, they touched so many people and, like, I just wish that he knew what he took from all of us.”
5. Heath Faces the Death Penalty if Convicted of the Murders
Heath is being held on $1 million bail at the Mansfield Jail on capital murder charges.
He faces the death penalty if convicted of the murders, WFAA-TV reports.
Heath has not yet appeared in court. It is not clear if he has hired an attorney.
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