Medical examiner identifies man and woman who died in murder-suicide inside Houston Marriott Marquis

Police believe Jenna Soderberg was in a dating relationship with Sherrick Byrd, who shot her.

Thursday, September 9, 2021
Couple in Marriott Marquis murder-suicide was dating, HPD says
As the investigation continues into the murder-suicide at Marriott Marquis hotel in Houston, police confirm the man and woman killed were dating.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The woman and man who police say died in a murder-suicide in the lobby of the popular Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown Houston have been identified.

Medical examiners identified the 27-year-old woman killed on Tuesday as Jenna Soderberg. The 39-year-old man, who investigators believe was dating Soderberg, was identified as Sherrick Byrd.

Police believe Byrd shot Soderberg before turning the gun on himself.

Sherrick Byrd, one of two people identified in a murder-suicide inside the Marriott Marquis hotel on Sept. 7, 2021, is seen in a previous booking photo.

A day after the shots were fired, police confirmed the man and woman were in a dating relationship, but they did not say what may have led up to the shooting.

Witnesses told police they saw the couple arrive together shortly before the shooting.

"The gentleman did come in at some point ... shot the female and then immediately shot himself," HPD Chief Troy Finner said in the immediate aftermath.

Through a search of court records, Eyewitness News has learned that Byrd was no stranger to the system or to accusations of domestic abuse.

Court records out of Travis County show he was released from jail in May after brutally beating Soderberg three years ago.

The details from that day, June 13, 2018, paint a picture of a violent attack. According to court documents, officers arrived and found Soderberg at her neighbor's apartment with both of her eyes swollen shut, blood coming from a deep cut on her head, and bruises all over her body.

In an exclusive interview, Eyewitness News spoke to Soderberg's then-neighbor and friend who she went to after the attack.

"He meant to kill her that day," she said.

"I was just in shock," she added. "I didn't say anything. She was just like, 'Should I call the police?' I'm like, 'Yes, as a matter of fact. I'm going to call the police for you.'"

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous to protect her privacy, now lives in the Houston area, but had no idea Soderberg was in town with Byrd.

"The last facial memory that I have is her in the hospital, bruised up with two black eyes," the woman recalled.

According to court documents, once inside of Byrd and Soderberg's apartment, officers found blood everywhere: on walls, pillows, and towels.

Byrd was arrested that day and was in jail up until taking a plea deal in May of this year.

The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, and he was sentenced to 114 days in jail, time in which he had already served.

Fast forward four months later on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Houston police believe Soderberg and Byrd arrived at the Marriott Marquis in separate cars and came in together.

"I feel like it's not real," said Soderberg's friend. "She was a really friendly person... outgoing. She loved smiling. She loved being happy."

ORIGINAL STORY: 2 people shot to death in murder-suicide at Marriott Marquis hotel in downtown Houston, police say

Police said a man, who was described only as being in his late 30s, came in and shot a woman in the lobby. Officers said they do believe the man and woman had some sort of relationship.

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