FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) –Families living in the River Glen neighborhood in Fayetteville said they’re still searching for answers after a police officer and his wife were found dead in their home Friday.
Several neighbors described the home near the 1300 block of Vendenberg Drive as surrounded by police cars, flashing lights and yellow crime scene tape Friday evening.
During a late-night press conference Friday, Fayetteville Police Chief Kemberle Braden said they responded to the home after an officer did not show up for work.
“The officer was supposed to report to work at 6 p.m. Once he didn’t report to work, supervisors went to the house. I was notified at about 7 p.m.,” Braden said.
Braden said supervisors found 53-year-old Domingo Tavarez-Rodriguez and his wife, Yenitza Arroyo Torres dead inside the home. Investigators said both had been shot.
The police department put out a news release on social media and stated the deaths were being investigated as a double homicide.
Braden said Tavarez-Rodriguez was a veteran and joined the police department in June 2021.
“From our conversations, he was big on community… helping keep people safe,” said Brian Stackhouse who lives a few houses down. Stackhouse and his wife Rita Stackhouse, described the couple as always being polite, friendly and welcoming.
“’Mingo’ was very friendly with all the kids on our block right here. Like I said, it’s very shocking,” Stackhouse said.
Neighbors told CBS17 News that they never heard anything that made them suspicious and didn’t start to ask questions until they noticed police cars in their neighborhood.
Stackhouse said the hardest part was not just losing his neighbors, but also not knowing what happened to the couple.
“Not knowing what exactly happened… that’s the biggest thing. Because nobody knows right now,” he said.
Rita Stackhouse said the loss has been difficult for several neighbors and said, “My heart goes out to the family because it’s tragic.”
Fayetteville police said because Tavarez-Rodriguez was an active officer, the investigation will be handled by the SBI.