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A trail of domestic violence: How neighbors got involved after a woman pointed a gun at her ex-boyfriend in Naples

Catherine Cruz
Posted at 7:03 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 05:37:02-04

NAPLES, Fla. — Sherbrook Drive in Naples, it's in this area, that Collier County deputies say Catherine Cruz shot her ex-boyfriend, Jose Trujillo outside a home on May 10.

According to the arrest report, Cruz told a detective that she drove by Jose Trujillo on his bike and decided to confront him with a gun.

Cruz then said Trujillo threw her to the ground and that is when Cruz said the gun went off.

In that same report, eyewitness Sandra Kelley told detectives, that when Cruz hit the ground, she felt compelled to get involved and deployed her taser on Trujillo.

Kelley added that she saw Cruz's eight-year-old daughter inside her mother's car watching.

Cruz later told detectives that she has been afraid of her ex-boyfriend Jose Trujillo for over a month due to threats made to her and her daughter.

Another incident backs up Cruz's claim of threats.

On April 29, Collier County deputies arrested Trujillo after a domestic violence call on Coolidge Court in Naples.

The report says Cruz showed deputies text messages Trujillo sent, threatening to kill her and burn her home.

She told them, she feared for her life, but despite being arrested, Trujillo quickly bonded out on May 7.

The shooting happened three days later.

"That's probably the most common thing that we see is you take it and take it and take it and oftentimes you hide what has been done to you and then when you finally blow, now suddenly you are the aggressor," said Meghan DeLuca.

DeLuca is the Executive Director at Thrive in Cape Coral, which acts as a safe haven for domestic violence survivors, and gave me her take on these encounters.

"I hate this for her," said DeLuca.

"If they had a safe place that they could retreat to take a moment and not react but respond that is the key if we react, everything goes wrong," she said.

Cruz is currently charged with aggravated battery and discharging a gun in public.

She has also been ordered to have no contact with Trujillo, while out on bond.