This week, Dallas police need help finding a murder suspect they described as “very large man” who shot and killed another man three years ago.
The shooting happened on Sept. 7, 2014. The victim, Orlando Cruz, didn’t die until October 22. By then, the surveillance video was gone — except for what the apartment manager shot of the surveillance camera images on her cell phone.
Video taken on Sept. 7 at 9:20 a.m. shows Cruz at his East Dallas apartment complex at 1430 Bennett.
“Orlando Cruz was living on the upstairs, and the suspect came up the stairwell here,” explained Detective Brian Tabor. “We have a possible nickname of ‘Dollar Bill.’”
For 48-year-old Orlando Cruz, the video shows the last seven minutes of his life. The murder suspect goes up the stairs, walks to the apartment, then turns around and goes back to his car. "Dollar Bill" goes back up to apartment #8, where Cruz is outside.
“I believe they did know each other. Though, I don’t know at what capacity,” Tabor said. “But they did have a conversation, which is on the video. And they did both go into the apartment.”
Video shows the two men talk. Cruz seems agitated and animated. Then, the heavyset guy goes into the apartment. Cruz follows him in.
“After a few minutes, neighbors heard a gunshot,” Tabor said. “One neighbor actually went in to check on him and saw him laying there. She quickly walked out. The suspect followed her.”
“Dollar Bill” appears to put a gun in the small of his back and pulls his shirt down over it as he walks quickly down the stairs.
“There was a black vehicle that we did not see on the video of him getting in,” explained Tabor. “But it pulled up and left about the same time that he left the scene.”
Police can’t tell the make and model, but it’s a black four-door sedan with a sunroof.
It’s been three years since the murder, and police still don’t have a real name for “Dollar Bill.”
“It’s pretty hard to believe that you can’t solve a case that you have video on,” said Tabor. “You'd think you know that somebody would recognize him and call you or you’d get a good tip on it. But it just hasn’t happened.”
The detective hopes it will change soon and name will come to him that goes with the man and the vehicle caught on video.
“I think what it is is that people — if they did know him— they're just afraid to call. Maybe the time between now and then, you know, who knows — he might be in jail already where people feel more free to call us.”
Anyone with information is urged to call the Dallas Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477. A $5,000 reward is being offered.
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