Two men died in what police sources say was an ambush-style attack on a residential street in Oak Cliff.
The killings capped a deadly week in Dallas. Since last Friday, the city has recorded eight murders. Nine months into the year, the city has reached 136 killings – the same number as all of 2015.
Last year, Dallas recorded nine murders in the month of September compared to 19 murders for this year.
Dallas’ clearance rate has dropped to an eight-year-low in the waning days of Police Chief David Brown’s tenure. Through the end of August, the city had solved just 41 percent of its murders. By comparison, the city solved nearly 66 percent of its murders in 2009, the final full year of David Kunkle’s tenure as chief.
The deadly attack that left the two men dead happened about 1:40 p.m. Friday in the shadow of downtown.
Police officials were saying little.
But sources say three men were driving down Lancaster Avenue about 1:40 p.m. when two cars boxed them in – one from the front and another from the back.
Several men jumped out and opened fire, killing two of the men, the source says. A third was critically wounded. He fled to a neighboring house for help. He was expected to survive.
Relatives identified one of the men killed as 44-year-old, Julio Luis Camacho.
The ambush left dozens of bullet holes in the car. The passenger side windows had been shot out.
“Right now we have conflicting stories on any type of suspects,” said Deputy Chief Tom Castro, who oversees the crime against persons division.
Police with semi-automatic weapons guarded the area. Onlookers, many of them emotional friends and family, gathered at the scene.
A neighbor said her daughter heard the shots.
“I don't leave out of the house after 8,” she said. “They'll rob you here. They'll kill you. It's real, real, real bad.”
Children walked home from school and right into a crime scene.
One woman told News 8 that she knew one of the dead men.
“They told us that it was a shootout,” she said. “They were going against each other.”
She was watching police work from a second story at a neighboring apartment complex.
“I had just seen him yesterday and today in the morning,” she said.
Authorities think the killings are related to an argument one of the dead men had the day before over drug turf. The gang unit was on scene, investigating links to possible gang activity.
Sylvia Aguillon came to see if her son, Julio Luis Camacho, was one of the men who had died. She said she had already lost two other sons to violence.
“I want to go see my son,” she said. “I have the rights to go see my son now I want to know if it's him or not.”
Officers tried to calm her down, explaining that it was a crime scene.
“Right now, we need to preserve as much evidence as we can right now,” an officer told her.
Officers escorted the increasingly distraught mother over to detectives. She cried out in grief as detectives told her that her son was, in fact, one of those killed.
That same officer wiped a tear away as she tried to comfort the grieving mother.
As her family led her away, Aguillon cried out in Spanish, “Yo quiero, mi hijo. Yo quiero, mi hijo.”
With the deaths of Camacho and the other man, Dallas has recorded 19 murders for the month of September. By comparison, there was nine murders last September.
Hours after the killings, police detectives were still working deep into the night trying to figure out who had brazenly opened fire on a residential street, not even five minutes from downtown.
Double murder in the shadow of downtown this afternoon. One person critical. Sources say the gunman walked up to a car and opened fire. pic.twitter.com/AlDTJsITX7— Tanya Eiserer (@tanyaeiserer) September 30, 2016
Little kids crossing the crime scene to get home from school. pic.twitter.com/v2BzMdacHw— Tanya Eiserer (@tanyaeiserer) September 30, 2016