Just after 6pm Thursday, just after closing time, a man walked into Smiley Dental, shooting a woman working inside, and then taking off. The victim died at the scene, and police say she was a target. The shooter is believed to be a man with whom she had a relationship and shared two children.
By Friday afternoon, a murder charge had been filed against Noel Sosa-Ruiz, 41. Sosa-Ruiz is 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighs 170 pounds. He is wanted in the death of Yodani Cruz-Rojas, 29. According to witnesses, the couple had been arguing throughout the day.
We are hearing from people who work near the scene of that deadly attack at Smiley Dental on Bissonnet near Renwick.
At this shopping center in southwest Houston, lined with clinics, stores and restaurants, one spot is the center of all the nearby workers' attention.
"I knew the people in there, so I go there every other day," recalled Joe Ramirez, who works nearby. "I go in just to say hi. It's scary knowing it happened right next to you."
Madiley Fuentes was working nearby and heard screams coming from the dental office moments after the shooting, but says she saw nothing else. However, police say there was a witness -- a co-worker inside who saw what happened.
Ramirez said, "I feel really sorry for the family and the people that happened to, because about a lot of lives got changed."
The victim's children were at day care at the time of the shooting. She has three girls, ages 5 years, 7 months and 18 months. The suspect is the father of the youngest two girls, and the oldest daughter has a different father. All three are in CPS custody and have been placed in a foster home for now, since there are no known relatives in the Houston area. A court custody hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Police tell us there were no customers in the office at the time, and no one else was hurt.
Police say Sosa-Ruiz drives a silver minivan, possibly a Dodge Caravan, with unknown Florida license plates. He also drives a white Toyota, unknown model, with partial Texas license plates RZ2 or RZZ. Investigators learned the suspect is a state-certified armed security officer and has a concealed handgun license.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Noel Sosa-Ruiz is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.