Wednesday, January 20, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Woman's Slaying Aired Live On TV -- Mourning Father Shoots Ex-Wife At Daughter's Grave

Knight-Ridder Newspapers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The hair-raising scene of Maritza Martin Munoz collapsing under a hail of bullets left millions of television viewers stunned yesterday.

The assassination, at the hands of her ex-husband, was captured by a cameraman from the Telemundo network while a reporter watched from few feet away.

Emilio Nunez was being interviewed Monday by a crew from "Ocurrio Asi" ("It Happened That Way") about the suicide of his daughter, Yoandra Nunez. His ex-wife unexpectedly showed up at the North Lauderdale cemetery where the girl is buried.

While a reporter tried to talk to her, Nunez went to his car and got a 9-mm semiautomatic pistol. Then he walked up to Martin Munoz, 33, and shot her 12 times.

"I should have done it a long time ago," Nunez said seconds after the shooting. He jumped into his 1989 red Jeep Cherokee and fled, leaving behind his current wife, Odalis Perez, and her son.

Nunez, 34, remained a fugitive yesterday. Hialeah police found his Jeep at West 27th Avenue and 63rd Street.

The shocking videotape aired first on Telemundo and was quickly picked up by other news stations.

Nunez, who worked and lived on a farm in Delray Beach, was inconsolable over the death nearly two months ago of his 15-year-old daughter.

Yoandra Nunez committed suicide on Thanksgiving Day. The young high-school student was 13 weeks pregnant when she shot herself in the chest with a .25-caliber pistol.

Distraught over the suicide, Nunez had said that he was sure Martin Munoz was responsible for the girl's death. A few weeks ago, he called on the producers of the Telemundo program to do a story on his daughter's death.

He said that the day before her death, Yoandra and her mother had a heated discussion that ended with Martin Munoz slapping her daughter.

Martin Munoz never returned phone calls from Telemundo's reporter, Ingrid Cruz.

After interviewing Nunez for an hour, Cruz and cameraman George Delgado agreed to meet Nunez at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery to take video of him near Yoandra's grave.

The crew and Nunez had been at the cemetery for about 20 minutes when Martin Munoz arrived in her car. Nunez signaled Cruz who she was.

Nunez got into his Jeep and tried to block her car.

"Talk, you are so tough. Talk," Nunez yelled at Martin Munoz as the reporter tried to interview her. "Talk now."

Several times Cruz told Nunez to stay away from Martin Munoz' car.

Seconds later, Martin Munoz got out of her car and without saying a word took a small piece of paper and wrote down the Jeep's license plate - GAA 71B. Nobody knows why.

After getting out of the car, Martin Munoz started walking toward Yoandra's grave, with Cruz next to her carrying a microphone and asking questions.

Without warning, Nunez pushed Cruz aside, lifted his right hand and fired at the back of his ex-wife's head. Nunez continued firing even after she fell to the ground.

Cruz started screaming while at the same time telling cameraman Delgado to keep taping.

"Oh my God, he killed her," Cruz cried. "I don't believe it. He killed her."

Cruz insisted that Martin Munoz had no way of knowing that Nunez would be at the cemetery Monday afternoon.

"It was pure coincidence," Cruz said.

"A human being died right there in front of me," Cruz said. "We couldn't do anything."

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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