Beloved special ed teacher, 32, shot FIVE TIMES after confronting a teenager spraying graffiti in Las Vegas

A beloved teacher was killed after confronting a teen violating a storefront with graffiti in Vegas. 

  • Jose SantaCruz, 32, a special ed teacher at an elementary school, was shot dead in Las Vegas.
  • The teacher allegedly confronted a teen for spraying graffiti, which led to his death.
  • After being shot five times, SantaCruz was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he later died of his wounds. 

Jose SantaCruz, 32, a special education teacher, who “moved mountains” for his students, was shot dead on January 7. The educator was killed after allegedly confronting a teenage boy spraying graffiti on a storefront in Las Vegas, as Daily Mail reports.

Prior to the fatal incident, SantaCruz was assisting his father with the parking of a taco truck on East Charleston Boulevard. He then got off the vehicle and went into a nearby parking lot. Several seconds later, his father heard the gunfire.

Tragically, the 32-year-old teacher was killed after being shot five times. Despite being rushed to University Medical Center, he later died of his shotgun wounds.

Surveillance footage from the area revealed SantaCruz’s killer.

It was Zyonn Dawson, an 18-year-old, who was arrested and charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon. He is being held behind bars without bail.

According to police, Dawson was spray painting a wall when SantaCruz approached him and asked him to stop violating the property.

Dawson told the officials that he pulled his gun out because he thought SantaCruz was about to rob him. The teen also claimed that there was another man accompanying him. However, the teacher’s father told investigators that if his son “saw someone spray painting graffiti on the wall of the business, he would have said something to them.” Besides, there were freshly painted graffiti right next to the shooting scene, and the surveillance footage did not show the victim being accompanied by anyone.

Moreover, as per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, SantaCruz owned two businesses on the block where he was killed.

Jose SantaCruz was a beloved special education teacher at Cortez Elementary School.

He was described as a loyal son and a “mountain over” for his students. On the GoFundMe page, in which his family is asking kindhearted donators to help them with the funeral expenses, is sister, Magali SantaCruz, writes:

“He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest with the help of his angels they flew you to your heavenly place… He was taken too early. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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