Independence Day, a time when Americans of all stripes come together to celebrate their nation's birth. Invariably, many do this by making all manner of terrible decisions involving booze, fireworks, large bodies of water, or some combination of the three. And invariably, some of those decisions prove fatal.
Below is a cursory rundown of the death toll from the July 4 weekend in North Texas. The list is naturally somewhat arbitrary. We've only included fatalities, which means that the Denton County officer who was critically injured after being hit by a suspected drunk driver, or the random uncle who lost a couple of digits in a fireworks accident didn't make the list. Nor did we include the driver who was on his way to work on Tuesday morning when his vehicle was swept away by Turtle Creek flood waters. We did, however, include murders and car crashes on the assumption that Independence Day festivities increase the likelihood of violence and dangerous driving.
With all that in mind, the body count from over the weekend was 10. At least.
1. On Friday night, Dallas police arrested Martin Armijo, 33, on charges of murder and aggravated assault as he attempted to flee from a Pleasant Grove home. Witnesses told officers that just after 8 p.m. they'd seen Armijo beating the unidentified victim, a woman, with a semi-automatic pistol and a baseball bat. The victim also had stab wounds to the stomach and abdomen. Another woman was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries.
2. Just before midnight on Friday, a motorcyclist was speeding down North Buckner Boulevard. According to Dallas police, he failed to negotiate a curve, struck the outside curb and drove up and over a grass median before coming to rest again on Buckner. He was taken to Doctor's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
3. Two hours later, a vehicle was heading east down Lindsley Avenue through South Dallas. According to Dallas police, it struck a telephone pole and spun into a tree in the yard of a Jubilee Park home. The vehicle came to rest against a fence in the driveway. A passenger in the back seat was flung from the vehicle when it hit the tree. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was arrested and is being charged with criminally negligent homicide.
4. Just after midnight on Sunday, police in Forest Hill, a Fort Worth suburb, arrested a man named Joe Cody for intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. Police say Cody, 39, was drunk and speeding when he crashed into an SUV on Interstate 20. The SUV driver died at the scene. A passenger was taken to a local hospital.
5. At 6 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to a shooting call at La Victoria night club in the 2900 block of Walnut Hill Lane. Inside, they found a 20-something man dead of gunshot wounds. Police have made no arrests and are seeking information about the murder.
6. Dallas police received a call of a person in danger at Lake Ray Hubbard at about 12:45 p.m. on Sunday. According to police, a group of people left their boat and went for a swim. One was having a hard time swimming, prompting a 43-year-old man to jump into the water to bring them a life vest. The rescuer successfully handed off the life vest but wasn't wearing one himself and went under as the two made their way back to the boat. Dallas PD's dive team recovered his body midday Monday.
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7. Kaufman County sheriff's deputies fatally shot a knife-wielding man in Kaufman early Monday morning while responding to a domestic disturbance. Police say the man stabbed three people at a home in Rosser.
8. At 2:25 Monday afternoon, not long after dive teams had recovered the 43-year-old's body from Lake Ray Hubbard, Dallas police received another call of a potential drowning at the reservoir. According to police, a 48-year-old-man was attempting to raise the main sail of a sailboat when the wind swung the boom around and knocked him into the water. His companion on the boat threw him a life jacket but he was unable to reach it. Game wardens with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department located his body after a brief search.
9. Just after 4 p.m. on Monday, the Collin County Sheriff's Office received a call about an 11-year-old boy who had jumped off a sailboat into the waters of Slayter Creek, a small pond near an undeveloped subdivision near Anna. Divers recovered his body.
10. The Grapevine Fire Department's dive team recovered the body of an 18-year-old man from Lake Grapevine at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday. Police said he was swimming with his family near Rock Ledge Park when he went under. His father and a couple of Good Samaritans attempted to rescue him but were unsuccessful.