SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The arrest warrant affidavit for a suspect in an August 9 shooting in Tyler that left a 21-year-old woman dead offers new details in an August 9 shooting that left a 21-year-old Tyler woman dead.
Catalino Castillo Marin Jr. has been charged with murder in the shooting death of Diamond Samantha Cruz, 21.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence in the 8700 block of County Road 384 in Tyler around 5:30 a.m. When they arrived, they found a woman dead from a gunshot wound.
After a manhunt failed to capture Marin, identified as a suspect in the shooting, he turned himself into authorities later that day.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, investigators at the scene found Cruz’s body lying the in the threshold of the bedroom of the residence. They also found what appeared to be a .40 caliber hand gun lying near her body “as well as spent casings and unfired rounds.”
A detective said he observed what appeared to be a gunshot wound behind Cruz’s left ear “and a large amount of blood pooling under the right side of her face, which was against the floor,” the affidavit says.
One person interviewed by investigators told them Cruz came to her residence “with blood on his hands stating he and the victim, Diamond Samantha Cruz, were fighting over the gun when she shot herself and stated ‘he did not mean to do it,'” according to the affidavit.
Upon examining Cruz’s body, however, the detective “advised in his training and experience (that) the entry and exit wounds are inconsistent with a self-inflicted gunshot,” the affidavit says.
The Smith County Sheriff Office’s criminologist told detectives his assessment indicated that Cruz’s head was about 18 inches off the floor and facing the gun when she was shot.
The criminologist told detectives there was no high-velocity blood spatter on the firearm used in the shooting, “indicating the gun was not placed directly on Cruz’s head or close by,” the affidavit says.
A neighbor told detectives he heard “approximately three to four gunshots” at about 2:17 a.m. the morning of Cruz’s death, according to the affidavit.
A time-stamped text message to his mother regarding the shots verified the witness’ account, the affidavit says.
The witness also told detectives that Cruz and Marin “argue regularly” at the residence and that Marin would leave the residence in his truck when they argued, the affidavit says.
Marin and Cruz lived in the residence together with their two children, the witness said.
“After the shooting of Cruz, Marin Jr. fled the scene in his pickup truck with his two young children. Marin Jr. then returned to his residence to meet with his mother and left again. Upon exiting his driveway, he was contacted by Deputy Hill who was confirming the address. Marin Jr. left after being contacted without requesting emergency medical care for Cruz(,) therefore failed to render aid in any capacity.”Arrest warrant affidavit
Authorities later found Marin’s pickup flipped on its side in the 1000 block of East Commerce Street in Tyler, though Marin was not present. After a manhunt failed to capture him, authorities were able to establish contact with him. He turned himself in at a residence on North Confederate Avenue.
Once in custody, Marin told detectives that he was at a friend’s house, which was next to his, and that the friend was shooting a Smith & Wesson SD40 that belonged to Marin, according to the affidavit.
Marin told detectives he did not shoot at that time and that there were no more rounds in the gun when his friend finished, the affidavit says.
Marin told detectives that when he returned home, Cruz was upset with him “for not coming home to eat,” the affidavit says. Marin said Cruz had packed up his belongings and wanted him to leave, and had also packed bags for herself and was leaving.
“marin Jr. advised he was upset and sad Cruz wanted him to leave(,) so he retrieved approximately three loose rounds and put them into the magazine(,) then loaded the magazine into his Smith & Wesson SD40 and told Cruz he was going to kill himself,” the affidavit says.
Marin told detectives he retrieved a rifle to put it into his truck, put the handgun into his pocket, and removed his shirt, according to the affidavit.
Once he returned to the residence, he told detectives, Cruz “took the handgun out of his pocket and put it to her head, saying she was going to kill herself,” the affidavit says.
Marin said he tried to grab the gun from Cruz but it became tangled in his shirt. According to the affidavit, “Marin Jr. said the gun discharged while he and Cruz were struggling” for it.
The affidavit says detectives “confronted Marin with the evidence” indicating that Cruz’s head was about 18 inches off the floor when she was shot, “but he maintained they were standing,” the document says.
Detectives also noted other inconsistencies in Marin’s statement, including whether or not he was wearing a shirt and whether or not Cruz had packed bags for herself, the affidavit says.
Marin also denied telling a family member he did not mean to shoot Cruz, the document says.
The affidavit also notes Marin’s demeanor during the interview, saying his body language was “calm and collected when (he was) speaking about general events taking place,” but that “when speaking about inconsistencies with his account of the shooting he began to tremble, stammer, crossed his arms, which are consistent with attempting to conceal deceit.”
The document states that while detectives were speaking with Marin, “he showed no apparent signs of remorse or concern toward Cruz.”
The affidavit states that detectives “observed (Marin) referring to Cruz by name when speaking generally,” but that “Marin Jr. referred to her as ‘the body’ or ‘it’ when talking about when she was shot.”