2 arrested in connection with October El Mirage homicide
El Mirage police arrested 18-year-old Gabriel Meraz Tuesday on suspicion of an October 11 shooting in which one was killed, another injured and nine others at risk.A second suspect, a minor, was already in custody.
Court documents showed that shortly before midnight, suspicious police believed they were smaller 9mm pistol bullets fired from the roof of a one-story apartment building next door into a window on the second floor. The police say Meraz was on the roof with him. One victim died on the scene while another was shot, but survived.
Cartridge cases were found on the roof as well as a ladder propped up for access, although the homeowner was determined not to be involved.
Affected citizens gave the police a lead on suspects
During a traffic obstruction on December 23, one of the inmates, identified as a concerned citizen in court documents, told officers that he had information about a murder. He gave the police “street names” which were later confirmed to be there.
The citizen said the minor was the shooter even though he could not remember his real name. He allegedly met the minor in a park a few weeks after the murder. When he asked the minor if he heard about the shooting, the minor said, “Who do you think did that? I did that (expletively). “
The citizen also said the victim was not the alleged target but someone else who was in the bedroom when bullets were fired.
The goalhad robbed the minor and someone named “AZ” who was later identified as Meraz. The citizen said the minor carried out the shooting for “disrespect” and he did it for Meraz. He went on to say that the minor would have a leg injury if he jumped off the roof after shooting.
Both the minor and Meraz have been identified through law enforcement databases and listed as documented gang members by Barrio Chicano Locos.
The minor also allegedly showed the citizen a Glock pistol in the park, and he had carried the gun since he was released from juvenile detention a few months before the murder. The minor had followed his goaland knew he was in the bedroom, which indicates premeditation, court documents said.
The minor was already in juvenile detention after being arrested on December 1 for a photo on social media depicting himself with a pistol similar to the one described by the citizen. Police confirmed with probation officers that the minor had a leg injury.
An arrest warrant for the urgent treatment he was treated for confirmed an acute diagnosis of a fracture just two days after the murder.
When the police issued a search warrant against the minor’s home, his younger brother was arrested and interviewed, saying he left his brother that night, and a week later the minor had informed him that he had shot the house and a man had fallen.
Meraz found with the gun and drugs
On January 7th, Detectives stopped Meraz, stopped the car in which he had left his residence, and arrested him and the driver. Meraz was found with two 9mm Glock handguns and about 30 blue M30 Percocet pills that tested positive for fentanyl. Meraz has been booked for drug possession and gun crime charges.
Later, on February 5, one of the vehicle’s cannons was tuned to cartridge cases on the roof, causing the detectives to monitor Meraz.
Police carried out a traffic disruption after discovering that he had left his home in a vehicle and he was arrested.
In the vehicle, police found aluminum foil used to smoke M30 Percocet pills and 20 pills near Meraz’s seat.
The driver of the vehicle, who was also arrested, said Meraz was a drug dealer and that she was driving him to sell the pills when they were stopped by police. He had been seen talking to an unknown topic before the stop.
Meraz has been charged with willful first degree murder, possession of narcotics for sale and use, transport of narcotics, aggravated assault with a lethal weapon, and endangerment.
Reach the latest news reporter Nienke Onneweer at [email protected] or on Twitter @thenienke.