‘This doesn’t feel real’: Police arrest suspect, identify 2 sisters killed in Texas dormitory shooting

Suspect was not a student at the school, officials say
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Police have arrested the man they believe killed two sisters and injured a toddler in an “isolated” shooting at a Texas A&M University-Commerce dormitory Monday morning.

On Tuesday evening, police arrested Jacques Dshawn Smith, 21, on charges of capital murder in connection to the deaths of sisters Abbaney Matts and Deja Matts, according to a Texas A&M University-Commerce news release. Witnesses and surveillance video helped police make the arrest, which was assisted by a number of local and federal law enforcement agencies.

The suspect, who was not a student at the college, is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of Abbaney, 20, who also did not attend the college. Abbaney and her sister Deja, who are from Garland, Texas, were killed in the shooting Monday morning. Deja, 19, was a freshman pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health science, according to the school announcement. Abbaney’s 2-year-old son was also shot, but he was treated and released from a local hospital.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, friends and students impacted by today’s tragic event. During this difficult time, we encourage our Lion family — students, faculty, staff and friends — to remain supportive of each other,” Mark Rudin, president of the university, said in a statement Monday.

Classes are canceled through Wednesday at the university located in the city about 65 miles northeast of Dallas, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. About 13,000 students attend the school. Grief counselors were on campus Tuesday to support those reeling from the tragedy.

Vanessa Matts, mother of the Matts sisters, posted a tribute to her daughters, with photos of them over the years, on her Facebook. She simply captioned it: “This doesn’t feel real.”

Her post was shared more than 250 times as of Tuesday evening. Hundreds of family, friends and strangers offered condolences to Matts.

Just a few months ago, two people were killed and six others were injured in a shooting connected to Texas A&M University-Commerce, according to the newspaper. Students and others were enjoying a homecoming party off campus before the shooting broke out. The party was not an official school function.

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