Charter school community in Doral grieves slain math teacher

Detectives investigate murder-suicide in Miami-Dade

PALMETTO ESTATES, Fla. – A charter school community in Doral was grieving a slain 51-year-old teacher, the victim of a recent murder-suicide in Miami-Dade’s Palmetto Estates neighborhood.

Maria Cruz, a mother, taught algebra, geometry, and Spanish at The Doral Academy Preparatory School, at 11100 NW 27 St., for nearly a decade, according to school administrators.

“She made math like fun,” said Sebastian Rondon, the teacher’s former student.

Diana Chacon was among the dozens of parents who attended a memorial on Sunday at the school.

“It’s so sad for us, for my kids,” Chacon said. “She was a wonderful woman.”

Cruz was shot on Friday afternoon in a house near the intersection of Southwest 165 Terrace and 99 Avenue, and she died at Jackson South Medical Center, according to Detective Angel Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department.

“Let us come together for her two daughters as they navigate this extremely difficult time,” a representative of the Doral Academy and Just Arts and Management wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Rodriguez reported detectives recovered a firearm after a man died of “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head” and another was injured. Fire Rescue personnel took Cruz and the man injured to the Jackson South Medical Center’s Ryder Trauma Center.

Detectives were asking anyone with information about the case to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.


About the Authors:

Samiar Nefzi joined the Local 10 News team in August of 2023.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.