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Neighbor speaks out after Las Cruces murder-suicide

By: Bill Melugin
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Police said a pregnant woman was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend before he turned the gun on himself.

Police believe Bridgette Dominguez, 30, and Jesus Rojas, 32, were in a heated argument Sunday evening that carried over into Monday.

Investigators believe at some point, Rojas shot Dominguez twice with a handgun and then shot himself.

Rojas died at the scene at the Sexton Apartments, at 1850 Sexton St., while Dominguez and her unborn baby died at the hospital.

Dwayne Rogers, the couple's next-door neighbor, said Rojas had moved in with Dominguez about three or four weeks ago.

"She was a real nice girl, she took care of the kids on her own, did a good job of it," Rogers said.

Rogers wasn't home when the shooting happened.

"When I had heard about it I was numb, kind of in shock, when you hear something like that, something as violent as that happening right next door," Rogers said.

He told KFOX14 he last spoke with the couple the day before the shooting as they were entering their apartment

"They were going inside as I was getting home, I said hello and he said hello, said how's your day going? Great, great. He said he's doing great, can't complain, I said the same thing and he's like yeah, life is good, that's the last thing he told me," Rogers said.

Police said the couple had a heavy history of domestic violence, but KFOX14 only found one battery charge against Rojas in Las Cruces Police Department records, and the charge was later dropped.

Rogers said he only heard his neighbors argue one time in the last month or so.

"Just muffled yelling, pretty much through the walls, so you can't make out exact words, but you can just hear raised voices," Rogers said. "It lasted maybe about a minute, so I didn't hear any walls banging or anything breaking, dishes breaking, glass, so thought nothing of it."

A friend of the family told KFOX14 the couple started dating in middle school but had some rough spots.

"I think sometimes women get put off as being naive or dumb for getting back with these guys who are abusive, but I think she was just a nice person who wanted to give somebody another chance," Rogers said. "The real tragedy is the kids lost their parents."

Dominguez and Rojas had three children together, ages 11, 7 and 20 months. Dominguez and the three children lived at the Sexton Apartments while Rojas is believed to have resided off Embarcadero Road, north of Las Cruces, until about a month ago when he moved in with Dominguez.

Police discovered that their 20-month-old son was in the apartment at the time of the shooting but was not injured.

Police said the toddler is in the care of other relatives.