DPD searching for suspect in 19-year-old's Christmas Day murder

The parents of a murdered 19-year-old Dallas man are making an emotional plea to the public to help find his killer.

Jose Cruz was shot and killed on Christmas Day. He was found inside of his car which crashed into a parked truck less than a mile from where he lived.

There's now a $5,000 reward being offered for anyone with information leading to the killer's arrest.

Cruz's parents are heartbroken and angry over the sudden loss of their son. The night he was killed, Cruz told his parents he was headed over to a friend's house.

With his picture watching over them, Cruz's parents tried to keep their composure while talking about the untimely death of their eldest son.

“They took a precious, precious jewel from me,” his mom, Melissa Flores said. “And I'm going to miss him every day.”

“He never had no problems with nobody,” his dad, Jose Cruz said. “Everybody really looked up to him.”

Jose Cruz and Melissa Flores want to know who shot their 19-year-old son and why.

The last time Cruz's parents saw him alive was around 9 p.m. Christmas night when he walked out the front door of the family home on his way to visit a friend.

“We don't know anything prior to when the car crashed,” Flores said. “We don't know any of the story yet.”

A short time later, Cruz crashed his Infiniti G35 into a parked truck, just a few blocks away on Amherst Avenue near Dallas Love Field.

“He was actually on the ground at that point,” said Gary Hatch, who lives nearby. “What I hadn't seen was my neighbor had pulled him out and laid him on the ground. And the paramedics were attending to him at that time.”

Hatch heard the crash and went outside to investigate.

“It just seemed like an accident,” he said. “There was no blood. No one at the time knew that he had been shot.”

The medical examiner determined it was a gunshot that killed Cruz and not the crash.

“Someone in the neighborhood apparently heard the gunshot,” Hatch said. “So it wasn't too far from here.”

Cruz's father says his son was set to attend technical school to become a certified mechanic.

“He told us 'Hey Dad, I graduated!’ He made me real proud,” his dad said. “He made me real proud, and I still can't believe it.”

“I just want to say that you just don't know what you've done,” Flores said. “You destroyed a family, but you took a life of someone who meant a lot, not just to Mom and Dad. He could've made a difference in a lot of people's lives.”

Detectives are asking anymore with information to contact the Dallas Police Department.

A memorial service for Cruz is being held Friday night at Hughes Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.         

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