Police: Two killed each other in apartment


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist DATHAN HULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE


Posted on February 3, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 3 at 11:18 PM

AUSTIN -- A normally quiet Northwest Austin community turned into a crime scene Saturday.

"This is a really safe community this is really unusual to see with the amount of years we lived in this area," said resident Ben Barnicoat.

At 3:30 a.m., Austin police were called to the Great Hills Apartments off Jollyville Road after a neighbor heard gunshots. They didn't find anything, so they left.

Nearly five hours later, a second call came into 911.

"A resident reported finding blood on her back porch," said Austin Police Sergeant Brian Miller.

The woman lived on the first floor. Officers tracked the source of the blood to the third floor. When no one answered the door, they forced their way in to find 21-year-old Remedios De Machibya dead on the patio and 33-year-old Charles Sanders dead in the apartment.

"Preliminary investigation has established that De Machibya shot Sanders while he was sitting on the back porch. Although severely wounded, Sanders was able to fight with De Machibya and wrestle the gun away from her. And then fired at least one round at her and that round fatally wounded her," Miller said.

Police say Sanders went back inside the apartment to call 911, but died before he could talk to the operator.

"We're still in the process of trying to work through cell phone records as well as computer records to try to find out if we can find a motive as well as a relationship between the two," said Miller.

This isn't the first murder case police have worked at the same unit.

"I've never seen it before. Yeah, it's my first time," Miller said. "And in fact, the detective that worked the crime scene in the first one actually worked the crime scene in the second one the way the rotation fell, so he was pretty floored by it too."

Just four months ago, 46-year-old John Thomas Haney was found dead in the same apartment. Detectives say his girlfriend, 36-year-old Elizabeth Garcia, shot and killed him. Garcia is charged with murder.

"One of the defenses, or one of the things that she had said originally in the first case, was that she thought that the apartment was possibly haunted, but you know, I don't know about that," Miller said.

Garcia is being held in the Travis County Jail, charged with murder.

Anyone with information on De Machibya and Sanders is asked to call the Austin Police Homicide unit at 512-477-3588.