Friday night, Omar Soto stepped into a car along with two women after watching a movie at Studio Movie Grill in Arlington Lincoln Square.
They drove just a short distance before a pickup stopped in front of them and blocked them.
Rafael Brena Arteaga got out of the pickup at the same time as Soto, a 22-year-old University of Texas at Arlington graduate, got out of the car. One of the women recognized the pickup driver as her father, police said.
“What is your name?” Brena Arteaga asked.
“Omar,” Soto answered.
Within seconds, Brena Arteaga, who was armed with a handgun, fired multiple rounds into Soto, who staggered away before he collapsed in the parking lot and died.
The horrific night didn’t end there.
Brena Arteaga’s daughter, who told police she was Soto’s girlfriend, rushed to try to help him. Brena Arteaga returned to his pickup.
“He backs up the pickup and drives to the area of the parking lot where he [Soto] had collapsed,” police Lt. Christopher Cook said Monday. “He then deliberately drove at Soto as his daughter was trying to help him.”
Brena Arteaga drove over his 24-year-old daughter and then sped away, police said.
Police responded to the shooting in the 500 block of Lincoln Square at 10 p.m. Friday.
“When police finally arrived, she told an officer, ‘My dad did this,’ ” Cook said. The woman, whom police did not identify, was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.
‘Very possessive’ of daughter
Several hours later, police found the pickup parked and still running in a parking lot in the 3400 block of West Division Street. The windows were up.
Brena Arteaga was inside, dead. He died from a gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a suicide, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.
Cook said Monday investigators did not have a motive for the shooting. But police interviews with witnesses indicated that Brena Arteaga was “very possessive” and “protective” of his daughter, Cook said.
Brena Arteaga’s daughter remained in a local hospital Monday. The other woman at the scene, a friend of the daughter, was not injured in the shooting.
Brena Arteaga, who police said did not have a criminal history, apparently had the handgun legally, police said.
“It wasn’t stolen or he was not a felon,” Cook said.
Family members of Brena Arteaga could not be reached Monday for comment.
Police statistics show the Friday night murder-suicide was just the fifth in the city since 2012. There were two such cases in 2012 and one each in 2013 and 2014. There were no such killings in 2015 and 2016, according to statistics.
A relative of Soto’s, Jorge Mendez, established a GoFundMe page for Soto’s family.
Soto graduated from UTA in May and had studied in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, according to UTA records.
Mendez wrote on the GoFundMe page:
“One is never ready to deal with the loss of a loved one, but if there is anybody in this world that deserves to still be on this planet [it] is my beloved cousin Omar Soto,” Mendez said. “He was humble, smart, intelligent, full of life, hopes and dreams and on his way to become a great Architect.”
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.