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Army veteran, Fort Hood soldier found shot dead at Texas apartment

Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr., shown here with actor Chuck Norris in a 2019 photo posted to social media, was one of three victims found shot dead in an apartment complex near Fort Hood on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

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By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 19, 2020

This story has been updated.

AUSTIN, Texas – An Army veteran and a Fort Hood soldier were among three victims found dead with gunshot wounds Saturday at a Texas apartment complex, according to Army officials at the base.

Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr., 23, was one of three dead people discovered at about 1:40 a.m. in a unit of the Summerlyn Apartments in Killeen by local police officers who were responding to a call about a water leak, according to the Killeen Police Department. The other victims were a man and a woman, who were identified Tuesday as Army veteran Shaquan Markell Allred, 23, and Asia Cline, 22.

Police said officers were initially dispatched to the area at about 1 a.m. to investigate a call that gunshots were heard, however they were unable to locate the source. About 40 minutes later, police returned to the area for a call about water leaking from one apartment into another at Summerlyn Apartments.

That investigation found the apartment unlocked and officers unable to contact the tenant. Police entered apartment and found the three dead bodies.

Information about the water leak was not released.

Army Criminal Investigation Command is investigating the deaths with Killeen police, according to the news release from Fort Hood.

Allred served as a combat engineer from November 2017 until January, when he left the Army as a private, according to his official service record.

Delacruz of Vidalia, Ga., entered the Army in November 2017 as a cavalry scout and he has been assigned to Fort Hood’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since April 2018, according to the base release.

“Spc. Freddy Delacruz was an outstanding trooper,” Lt. Col. Steven E. Jackowski, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, said in a statement. “Each of us in the battalion are grateful for having known him and we collectively grieve his loss. I would like to send my deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time."

Delacruz's awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Allred’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon, according to his service record.

Earlier this month, another Fort Hood soldier was killed in Killeen, the city located just beyond Fort Hood’s gates. Spc. Shelby Tyler Jones, 20, was found dead with a gunshot wound outside of a convenience store but police believe he was shot at a nearby strip club. No arrests have been made regarding Jones’ death, according to Ofelia Miramontez, spokeswoman for the Killeen Police Department.

Killeen detectives are asking anyone who might have seen anything or has information about the homicides to contact Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com. Anonymous tips also can be sent through the P3Tips App for IOS or Android. All information is confidential and anonymous and if a person’s tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, that person could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.

Thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori