Wilbur Martinez-Guzman is an undocumented immigrant suspected of killing four people in Nevada, police say.
Martinez-Guzman, 19, is being held without bail on an immigration hold, two counts of burglary, and related charges while police build their murder case, The Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
Police say they believe Martinez-Guzman is the only suspect in the killing of Connie Koontz, 56, Sophia Renken, 74, Jerry David, 81, and Sherri David, 80.
All four people were killed between January 10 and January 16.
Martinez-Guzman did not have a previous criminal record and was largely unknown to police and even his neighbors, KOLO-TV reported. He had a minor traffic violation in 2018.
Police are expected to bring murder charges against Martinez-Guzman.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. 4 People Were Killed in One Week
The mysterious and seemingly random shootings began in Douglas County on January 10 when 56-year-old Connie Koontz was found dead in her Gardnerville Ranchos home.
Three days later, 74-year-old Sophia Renken was found dead in her home roughly one mile away from the first murder.
On January 16, police found 81-year-old Jerry David and 80-year-old wife Sherri dead in their home in South Reno. Both died from gunshot wounds.
2. Police Identify Martinez-Guzman as Only Suspect, Say He’s in The US Illegally
Martinez-Guzman had no criminal record and was unknown to police until they started hearing his name in tips following the murders, police told KOLO-TV.
Police were able to track down Martinez-Guzman and, despite not being able to charge him with murder yet, decided to take him in for entering the country illegally.
“At the same time, surveillance teams were reporting mobile activities which were increasing our concern for the welfare and safety of the public,” said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. “The command staffs for all agencies agreed that Guzman–a person of interest at the time–should be taken into custody on immigration charges.”
3. Martinez-Guzman Was Charged With Burglary & Put on Immigration Hold
Officers surrounded Martinez-Guzman in his car at a Carson City mall Saturday. Witnesses reported hearing the boom of a flash bang before he was arrested, KOLO-TV reported.
Thus far he has been placed under a no-bail hold for immigration and charged with two counts of burglary, possession of stolen property, and obtaining money under false pretenses.
According to the report, Martinez-Guzman worked as a day laborer and handyman. He is believed to have lived in Carson City for at least a year. A neighbor told KOLO that he had been staying at a duplex in Carson City for the last four months but was not on the tenant list.
It’s unclear where Martinez-Guzman was born.
4. Martinez-Guzman Expected to be Charged With 4 Murders
Police say they will hold Martinez-Guzman while they build a murder case against him and bring formal charges.
“We felt it was important for the public to know that we are confident we have the person responsible for the La Guardia Lane homicides as well as the homicides in Douglas County,” Washoe Sheriff Darin Balaam said at a press conference Sunday. “The information we have now indicates there are no outstanding suspects at this time, but the investigation is still ongoing.”
Martinez-Guzman’s motive is unclear.
“Simultaneously to this arrest, surveillance teams seized control of an apartment residence on Menlo Drive, two vehicles, another family member and another apartment on Woodside Drive,” Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong told KTVN.
5. President Trump Cites Martinez-Guzman in Tweet Demanding Border Wall
President Donald Trump cited the murders in a tweet demanding funding for his proposed border wall from House Democrats after House Republicans were unwilling to fund the wall for two years.
“Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country,” Trump tweeted. “26 people killed on the Border in a drug and gang related fight. Two large Caravans from Honduras broke into Mexico and are headed our way. We need a powerful Wall!”
The Daily Mail noted that the reference to the 26 people killed at the border was about an old story related to Mexican gang violence. There have been no new reports of mass violence at the border.