Gerald David, and his wife, Sharon David, a Nevada couple involved in rodeos, were found shot dead in their home in in January 2019, and a man alleged to be in the country illegally is accused of being a suspect in their murders.
Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, from El Salvador, is accused in the crime. Two other people were also found dead in the crime spree. He was not initially charged with homicide, though. Authorities did say they were going to seek murder warrants, though.
“Our communities were shaken by these brutal murders,” Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks said in a press conference.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The White House Invited Three Generations of the Davids’ Family to the SOTU
President Donald Trump invited Debra Bissell, Heather Armstrong, and Madison Armstrong to his 2019 State of the Union address. They represent three generations of Gerald and Sharon David’s family.
“Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home in Nevada by an illegal immigrant in January 2019,” the White House wrote.
“The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.”
Trump has mentioned the deaths before. “Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country,” Trump said in a tweet. “We need a powerful Wall!”
2. Wilbur Ernest Martinez-Guzman Is Not in the Country Legally, Reports Allege
According to TribLive, Martinez-Guzman was not on authorities’ radar before the shootings. He only had a speeding ticket before.
The newspaper reported that Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong stated that “federal immigration authorities told his office that Martinez-Guzman was in the country illegally.” The Sheriff added at the press conference that the suspect “was likely in the United States illegally and was detainable.”
KRNC-TV reported that it was believed Martinez-Guzman had been in the Carson City area for about a year.
Authorities said he was 19 and living in Carson City. He was taken into custody on January 19 on charges relating to possession of stolen property and immigration charges.
“We feel confident that we have the evidence that will link him to all four homicides,” said the Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam, in a news conference, which you can watch above.
Snopes wrote that, according to ICE: “Mr. Martinez-Guzman is a citizen of El Salvador who entered the United States unlawfully on an unknown date and location. He has no prior criminal or immigration history. ICE has lodged a detainer.”
3. Sharon David Was Described as ‘Bubbly’ & Her Husband Was remembered as ‘Jovial’
Those who knew the couple described them to TribLive in glowing terms, using words like jovial, bubbly and exuberant.
Tom Cates, a longtime friend, said to the newspaper that Gerald David was the Reno Rodeo Association president and he worked on breast cancer charities.
“You walk into a room and his presence will just command attention. He was a true leader,” Cates said to the TribLive newspaper, which reported that she was a former rodeo director.
4. Four People Died in the Crime Spree
According to ABC News, four victims died in all. The first was a woman named Connie Kootz, who was murdered on January 9 or 10.
The next to die about three days later was Sophia Renken, 74. Gerald David, 81, and his wife Sharon David, 80, were found shot to death on Jan. 16, 2019.
“We’d like to express our sincere sympathies to the families of the other victims. They are in our prayers. We will continue to keep our eyes on God, trusting in him, as we walk through the aftermath of this tragedy,” a family member of the Davids said.
5. The Davids Were Killed With a Firearm & All Victims Had Property Taken From Their Homes
The bodies of the Davids were found in their home around 4 p.m. The weapon used to kill them was a firearm.
In all four cases, reported CBS San Francisco, “all four victims were elderly and items were taken from their homes.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. As these cases develop, law enforcement will continue with our regional collaborative effort aimed at increasing the safety of the public while we work toward bringing those responsible for these crimes to justice,” the sheriff told CBS at that time.