APD is investigating several gun-related incidents in South Austin
Police said the suspects could be involved in up to 11 cases as of September, as well as others in Hays County and New Braunfels.
Austin, Texas – – Austin police said two murders, multiple shootings and numerous gun-related incidents had been reported in South Austin in the past five months.
On Tuesday, police charged 21-year-old Manuel Huerta and 33-year-old Jonathan Zavala of the murders of Omar Munguia and Miranda Lopez.
Police said the suspects could be involved in up to 11 cases that started in Austin last September, as well as other cases in Hays County and New Braunfels. These include the theft of weapons from the New Braunfels Police Department, the theft of cars, serious attacks and the two murders.
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“You killed my cousin. You killed my little cousin,” said Sophia Salazar, the cousin of 21-year-old Miranda Lopez.
On December 26, while Lopez’s sister was driving her home from dinner, a gray limousine got into some kind of street race at the intersection of St. Elmo and Pleasant Valley Drive. Detectives said the people in the gray car shot and hit Lopez several times. She died three days later.
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A $ 1,000 reward will be offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect (s).
“She had a big heart, she had a very big heart. Sweet girl, she didn’t deserve it,” said Salazar.
Huerta is also charged with the murder of 20-year-old Omar Munguia. This case was from November 25th, near the intersection of East Riverside Drive and Pleasant Valley. Police said Munguia and a passenger in his car were shot after he cut off a driver in a white Honda who followed him for several blocks while he fired several laps. Munguia later died of his injuries.
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“These murders were about nothing. The other groups, the suspects in these cases, were just angry. They didn’t know their victims at all. We have a hard time wrapping our heads around shooting someone you don’t know at all.” but they did it repeatedly, “said Det. Nathan Sexton of the APD Homicide Squad.
The surveillance video of Munguia’s murder led police to believe the suspect was driving a 2016 or 2017 Honda Accord. A Crimestoppers tip led them to the suspects.
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APD: A man who was shot dead in a street race in southeast Austin dies
A man who was shot dead in a road race in southeast Austin in November has died, Austin police say. APD posted a video of the suspicious vehicle in the shooting.
Detectives said they believe the two men were involved in other shootings, stolen gun cases, and stolen vehicle cases in Travis, Hays, and Comal counties. “I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are fees and there may be other suspects,” said Det. Filemon Zamora, also with the APD Homicide Squad.
Lopez’s cousin said she wanted to make sure the two suspects pay for the pain they caused. “I’m just asking that we get the death penalty for these guys,” said Salazar.
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Police said the murder suspects could face additional charges as investigations continue in several counties.
The investigators ask for tips on the following eight incidents:
- September 23, 2020: APD says a suspect drove out in a white Honda sedan and ruthlessly drove behind the victim’s vehicle the 2400 block of W. Stassney Lane. The suspect continued following the victim and fired two shots from the sunroof at the victim.
- October 10, 2020: APD says a suspect in a white Honda sedan cut off the complainant for no reason and threateningly showed them a pistol the 2400 block of E. Riverside Drive.
- November 25, 2020: APD says a suspect started driving aggressively in a white Honda sedan and Omar Munguia followed suit from Oltorfstrasse to Riverside Drive where multiple shots were fired, resulting in Munguia’s death.
- November 26, 2020: APD says a suspect stopped in a white Honda next to the victim the 2400 block of Grove Boulevard near Riverside and started turning the engine. A Spanish man got out of the car and fired several rounds at the driver’s seat area. The victim was shot, resulting in non-life threatening injuries.
- November 26, 2020: According to APD, two construction workers were working on a roof in the 6200 block of Clovis Street when they were shot at by a white limousine.
- December 22, 2020: APD says a suspect is aggressively driving in a gray sedan the 2400 block of Spirit of Texas Drive and followed the victim and shot into their vehicle. The victim was seriously injured but survived.
- December 24, 2020: According to the APD, a suspect threateningly showed a gun to a restaurant staff the 3800 block from Promontory Point.
- December 26, 2020: APD says suspects drive aggressively with victims in a gray sedan near the intersection of E. St. Elmo and S. Pleasant Valley, followed them and fired several rounds, leading to Lopez’s death
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Crimestoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477) or the Austin Police Department.