The Latest: Sheriff: Murder suspect arrested near gun store

The Latest: Sheriff: Murder suspect arrested near gun store Photo: AP

January 22, 2019 04:21 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on a man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally and accused of killing four people in Nevada over the past few weeks, adding fuel to the immigration debate (all times local):

1:20 p.m.

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A sheriff says authorities quickly decided to arrest an El Salvadoran immigrant suspected of four recent northern Nevada slayings after he approached a regional mall that has a large gun store.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that police vehicles pinned a BMW driven by 19-year-old Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman during Saturday's arrest in a Carson City mall parking lot.

Furlong says a flash-bang grenade was used, but no gunshots were fired.

Furlong says Martinez-Guzman did not have a weapon when he was handcuffed.

The sheriff says he did not know if there was a gun in the car when it was sealed as evidence and taken to Reno for crime lab processing.

The sheriff says investigators watched Martinez-Guzman go to a car wash and trash bins on Saturday.

Furlong says the investigators feared Martinez-Guzman might try to dispose of evidence connected to the four slayings.

Martinez-Guzman is jailed in Carson City awaiting a Thursday court appearance.

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12:15 p.m.

One of four people in Nevada who authorities say were killed by a man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally is being remembered by co-workers at a northern Nevada Wal-Mart as bubbly and positive.

Co-worker Teri Bower said Tuesday that 56-year-old Connie Koontz was also a manicurist at a salon in the town of Gardnerville who loved bright colors.

Bower says Kootnz was "the only person I know that could come to work wearing lime green glasses and lime green Crocs and rock it."

Bower says workers at the Wal-Mart were collecting donations to cover funeral costs and wearing buttons with pictures of Koontz that say "Loved Always."

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says suspect Wilbur Martinez-Guzman is from El Salvador and had no criminal record or history of previous immigration violations.

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11:10 a.m.

Two victims of a killing spree in Nevada that has been blamed on a man from El Salvador who authorities say was in the U.S. illegally are being remembered as longstanding members of Reno's equestrian and rodeo scene.

Former Reno Rodeo Association president Tom Cates says he met Gerald David and his wife Sharon David three decades ago and spent "many miles and many hours together" on horseback with them.

Cates says Gerald David was previously the association's president and promoted a breast cancer awareness campaign by getting cowboys to show they were "tough enough to wear pink shirts."

Cates also was a member of the local Elks Lodge when David was the group's leader.

He says Sharon David was "exuberant, bubbly, loved animals to the hills."

Cates says the two were also members of a horseback social organization called the Nevada White Hats.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says suspect Wilbur Martinez-Guzman is from El Salvador and had no criminal record or history of previous immigration violations.

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9:30 a.m.

U.S. immigration authorities say a man suspected of killing four people in Nevada over the last few weeks is from El Salvador and entered the United States illegally.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that 19-year-old Wilbur Martinez-Guzman had no criminal record or history of previous immigration violations.

The agency did not have additional details on his alleged illegal entry to the U.S., including when and where it occurred.

The agency's public affairs staff is furloughed because of the government shutdown.

President Donald Trump has seized on the killings to bolster his argument for his proposed border wall with Mexico.

— This version corrects that the suspect is 19, not 20.

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6:45 a.m.

Authorities say a man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally shot and killed four people in Nevada over the past few weeks, adding fuel to the immigration debate.

President Donald Trump has seized on the killings as evidence of the need for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

It was not clear Tuesday where 19-year-old Wilbur Martinez-Guzman was from or how he came to the U.S.

He has been jailed in Carson City since Saturday on possession of stolen property, burglary and immigration charges.

Authorities have said they expect to file murder charges against him in the shooting deaths of an elderly Reno couple and two women in a nearby town.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said that federal immigration authorities told his office Martinez-Guzman was in the country illegally.

— This version corrects that the suspect is 19, not 20.

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