Two women dead, 2-year-old injured in shooting at Texas A&M University-Commerce residence hall

A man has been charged with capital murder after two women were found dead and a 2-year-old was wounded in a shooting at a residence hall on the campus of Te...

Posted: Feb 3, 2020 2:48 PM
Updated: Feb 5, 2020 12:00 AM

A man has been charged with capital murder after two women were found dead and a 2-year-old was wounded in a shooting at a residence hall on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce, police said.

A student who lives in the Pride Rock residence hall on campus called university police around 10:17 a.m. (11:17 a.m. ET) Monday about the shooting in the building, University Police Chief Bryan Vaughn told reporters. He said police responded and found the women dead in a room.

The child 'was also in the room,' Vaughn said. The toddler was treated and later released to the care of family members, the university said.

University officials identified the victims as a freshman Deja Matts, a 19-year-old public health student student from Garland, Texas, and her sister, Abbaney Matts, 20.

The older Matts, who was not a student at the university, was the mother of the 2-year-old victim, according to the school.

Jacques Dshawn Smith, 21, was arrested om Rowlett, Texas, and charged with capital murder after surveillance and witness tips led police to him. Smith is not a student at A&M-Commerce, he is believed to be the ex-boyfriend of Abbaney Matts, according to police. Smith has not yet appeared before a judge and it's not clear if he's retained legal counsel.

CNN has reached out to Rowlett police.

Vaughn did not reveal a motive for the shooting.

The school canceled classes for the rest of the day and recommended that students, faculty and staff shelter in place as a precaution. The shelter in place was lifted a little less than two hours later.

Pride Rock reopened late Monday night after being closed for several hours during the investigation, according to the school website.

Classes, programs and events have been canceled until Thursday, a statement from University President Mark Rudin said.

The school has increased staff presence in residential communities and increased University Police patrol around the campus. The school's counseling center has also expanded services, Rudin said.

Rudin couldn't comment on the circumstances surrounding the shooting due to the investigation, he said in the statement.

'Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, friends and students impacted by today's tragic event,' Rudin's statement said. 'During this difficult time, we encourage our Lion family -- students, faculty, staff and friends -- to remain supportive of each other.'

As of August 2016, those who hold a current and valid concealed handgun license in Texas are allowed to carry a concealed handgun on certain parts of the campus. Handgun license holders are also allowed to store the weapon in a safe in their campus housing, according to the policy.

Commerce is about 67 miles northeast of Dallas.

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