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Texas man told Denton police he tried to save girlfriend’s life after he shot her: warrant

·2 min read

Zeniff Rudd told Denton police that he and his girlfriend were in a bedroom in March when a handgun fell off a nightstand, causing it to fire when it hit the ground.

The bullet then hit his girlfriend, 26-year-old Mindy Tenerias, he said.

Rudd told authorities he found his girlfriend lying on the floor with a gunshot wound in the stomach area, called 911 and attempted life-saving measures until Denton police and paramedics arrived on the scene.

Tenerias was taken to a local hospital, but later died.

But physical evidence, testing of the handgun and forensic testing contradicted Rudd’s statements, according to a warrant.

The trajectory of the bullet originated from a location other than the floor, and results from Texas Department of Public Safety testing on the handgun indicated that the weapon did not discharge when a drop test was conducted, according to the arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday.

Based on that, Rudd, a warehouse worker in Dallas, was arrested on Nov. 4, and faces a charge of murder in the Denton case.

Rudd told Denton detectives he did not shoot his girlfriend.

Rudd remained in the Denton County Jail on Tuesday with bond set at $50,000.

The warrant written by Denton Detective Tommy Potts provided these additional details in the case:

Rudd told authorities that he and his girlfriend had gone to a gun range just days before the fatal shooting. The handgun belonged to Tenerias.

He said he was lying in bed when he was awakened by the sound of gunfire, and he then found his girlfriend.

Denton police were dispatched to the shooting call just before 1 a.m. on March 6 in the 1800 block of Teasley Lane.

Rudd told detectives he did not touch the gun after the shooting.

When they arrived, first responders found an unresponsive woman later identified as Mindy Tenerias with a gunshot wound.

A handgun was recovered from the bedroom, and detectives observed evidence that the bullet traveled through curtains, window blinds and the glass of the window as it exited the apartment building.

Detectives also discovered gunshot tattooing on the victim’s right arm and forearm, indicating that the handgun was a short distance away from Tenerias.

Evidence also eliminated the possibility that Tenerias shot herself.

Rudd was arrested in Dallas on the night of Nov. 4 by Denton police and members of the U.S. Marshals Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force.

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