- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2002

DALLAS An unemployed man was charged yesterday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of five of his family members, including his wife and two daughters, in what police are calling one of the worst episodes of family violence ever seen here.

Abel Revilla Ochoa, 29, was arraigned early yesterday morning for the shootings that occurred Sunday night and was said to be under suicide watch in the Dallas County jail.

Police responded after several neighbors called 911 at about 6:15 p.m. to report a volley of gunshots and a bleeding, screaming woman running from the Ochoa home in south Dallas.

The woman, identified as Mr. Ochoa's sister, remains in the hospital in critical condition with a partially severed artery, a spokesman for Methodist Hospital said. The woman was given 42 units of blood during emergency operations.

Mr. Ochoa who was born in Mexico owned a gun and had recently told his brother of growing domestic problems, caused partially by a deteriorating financial situation, police said. He had been out of work for months, his brother told police after rushing to the scene Sunday night.

A semiautomatic handgun was found in the house, near four of the victims police discovered sprawled throughout the living room and kitchen.

Mr. Ochoa was charged in the deaths of his wife, Cecilia, 32; his father-in-law, Bartolo Alivizo, 56; his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Saleh, 20; his daughter, Crystal, 7; and his 9-month-old daughter, Ana, who died en route to the hospital.

One homicide officer, Sgt. Gary Kirkpatrick, said this was the worst carnage he had seen locally in more than a decade in his assignment.

"There's never been one of this magnitude," he said.

Mr. Ochoa was apprehended within minutes of the shootings. Neighbors had witnessed him flee the house and described his vehicle "right down to the exact license number" one investigator said.

Police found him calmly sitting in his silver sport utility vehicle at a shopping center just blocks from the scene of the shooting.

Dallas County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Don Peritz said Mr. Ochoa had no criminal record. Civil records indicate the couple was married here Dec. 13, 1993.

The Ochoa residence is a small one-story house in an area of $65,000 to $80,000 homes about four miles south of downtown Dallas, a predominantly minority segment of Oak Cliff.

"We sure have never had anything like this in this neighborhood," said Arless Gibbons, who said he lives nearby. "I've been in these parts 45 years, and this is the most horrible tragedy I can recall."

Another neighbor, Delia McClendon, described Mr. Ochoa as a cordial person.

"He was out just yesterday painting his house. He and my mom stood out there talking. He was always friendly, smiling," she said.

Mr. Ochoa's bail was set at $2 million.

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