close Resident says right-to-shelter law made Massachusetts a migrant 'destination' Video

Resident says right-to-shelter law made Massachusetts a migrant ‘destination’

MassFiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Diego Craney tells ‘America Reports’ taxpayers overwhelmingly oppose subsidizing migrants.

Join Fox News for access to this content Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge. Please enter a valid email address. By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided. Having trouble? Click here.

A Massachusetts mother who was shot and killed alongside her 11-year-old daughter was a decorated service representative who was “brilliantly intelligent and destined for success.”

Worcester police confirmed that Chastity Nuñez, a Connecticut Army National Guard member, and her daughter, Zella, were shot and killed while they were sitting in their car on a city street around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“Upon arrival, officers located a parked vehicle with two female gunshot victims inside,” they added. “The victims were identified as a mother and her daughter, and they were both pronounced deceased at the hospital.” 

National Guard spokesperson Maj. David Pytlik told Fox News Digital that Nuñez was “incredibly resilient, brilliantly intelligent, destined for success.”


Chasity Nuñez

Chasity Nuñez, here working as a member of the Connecticut National Guard, and her 11-year-old daughter, Zella, were shot and killed while sitting inside a parked SUV in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Tuesday afternoon. (Connecticut National Guard)

“I’d describe Chasity as incredibly resilient, brilliantly intelligent, destined for success in her civilian and military careers, and more full of compassion than anyone I know,” Pytlik said.

Nuñez has received honors such as the National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Army Achievement Medal since joining the service in 2020, Pytlik said.

Chasity Nuñez writing

Chasity Nuñez was remembered for her “wit, social nature and dedication to duty.” (Connecticut National Guard)

Pytlik said that she was killed in “senseless violence” and will be remembered for her “wit, social nature and dedication to duty.”

“Our hearts are broken because we lost Specialist Chasity Nunez to senseless violence. She and her daughter were killed while sitting in their vehicle in their own neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon,” Pytlik said. “Chasity was beloved by her fellow soldiers in the 142nd Medical Company.”


“Her wit, social nature and dedication to duty made her one of the best soldiers in our unit. I cannot begin to make sense of why this happened and why her family, friends, co-workers and fellow soldiers have been robbed of her and Zella,” Pytlik added. “What we can, and must do now, is support one another as we grieve, process this profound loss and honor their memory.”

Worcester Police Department police car

The Worcester Police Department says the two gunshot victims were found inside a parked vehicle on Tuesday afternoon. (Worcester Police Department)

Nuñez’s daughter, Zella, was also killed by the gunman and was remembered as a “high-achieving” student who was well liked and well respected.

“At the school Zella attended, she was known as a high-achieving sixth-grade student who had many friends and was well respected by her teachers,” a spokesperson from the Worcester Public Schools told Fox News Digital.

In a letter to the community that was issued yesterday, Superintendent Rachel Monárrez said, “There are no words to describe the pain this student’s family is feeling as a result of this terrible tragedy. We offer them our deepest condolences as they endure unimaginable grief.”

The spokesperson said that counselors were available for students who are grieving the loss.

Worcester suspect Dejan Belnavis

Dejan Belnavis, 27, is “considered armed and dangerous,” the Worcester Police Department said. (Worcester Police Department)

Prosecutors alleged that 27-year-old Dejan Belnavis and 28-year-old Karel Mangual were responsible for Nuñez and Zella’s death after the men were spotted getting out of a vehicle in Hartford, Connecticut, around an hour after the deadly shooting took place in Worcester.

Police said in court documents that surveillance video showed “the victims parked in their vehicle and that two people walk up to the vehicle and start shooting,” the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported. 

Video also showed a car consistent with a witness description circling the area before the shooting and leaving afterward, the documents said.

The vehicle was later found in Hartford. 

Belnavis is still wanted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm without a license.

Police noted that he also had a pre-existing arrest warrant.

Suspect in the National Guardwomnan shooting being taken into custody

Karel Mangual, left, was arrested by Worcester police at the intersection of Main and Mill streets on Thursday. Mangual is a suspect in the shooting death of National Guardswoman Chastity Nuñez and her 11-year-old daughter, Zella, on Tuesday. (Rick Cinclair/Telegram & Gazette/Imagn)

On Wednesday, Mangual was arrested and charged.

“He is charged with Armed Assault to Murder and Carrying a Firearm without a License,” according to Worcester police. “He also had a preexisting arrest warrant. He will be arraigned in court.”

Belnavis, who is being sought on the same charges, is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. 

Authorities did not immediately release a potential motive for the killings. It also was not released whether there was any relationship between the suspects and the victims. 


“Today we mourn the senseless loss of two Worcester residents, a mother and daughter whose lives were taken far too soon and far too tragically,” the city’s mayor, city manager, police chief and school district superintendent said in a joint statement. 

“Collectively, we ask for patience and privacy on behalf of the victims’ family and friends and for the Worcester Public Schools who are grieving the loss of a student. An act of such violence has no place in our city.” 

Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. 

She is a native of Massachusetts and is based in Orlando, Florida.

Story tips and ideas can be sent to [email protected] and on X: @s_rumpfwhitten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *