AUSTIN, Texas — Austin police have arrested and charged two men with murder in connection to two separate deadly road rage shootings that happened at the end of last year.
The Austin Police Department said 21-year-old Manuel Huerta was charged over the death of Omar Munguia, 20, who was shot on East Riverside Drive in southeast Austin on Nov. 25. Munguia died a week later.
Police also charged 33-year-old Jonathan Zavala over the death of Miranda Lopez, 21, who was shot and killed in a road rage incident near St. Elmo and Pleasant Valley roads on Dec. 26.
The vehicles in both cases were identified with the help of surveillance footage and anonymous tips, police said.
Huerta had been previously arrested for an unrelated offense, while Zavala was located on Jan. 7 in a stolen vehicle with the firearm allegedly used in the road rage incident. That weapon was stolen from a Georgetown resident, according to APD. In both cases, the suspects did not know the victims.
Additional charges are still possible in the cases, and police have not ruled out the arrest of additional suspects. Detectives believe Huerta or Zavala could be tied to up to 11 other incidents in the Austin area.
Police are asking for any information related to the following additional incidents:
- Sept. 23, 2020 in the 2400 block of W. Stassney Ln. Case# 20-2671362
A suspect in a white Honda sedan was swerving and driving recklessly behind the victim’s vehicle. The suspect followed the victim further and fired two shots from the sunroof toward victim.
- Oct. 10, 2020 in the 2400 block of E. Riverside Dr. Case# 20-2840751
A suspect in a white Honda sedan cut off the victim for no reason and displayed a handgun at them in a threatening manner.
- Nov. 26, 2020 in the 2400 block of Grove Blvd. Case# 20-3310753
A suspect in a white Honda stopped next to the victim on Grove near Riverside and began to rev the engine. A Hispanic male exited the vehicle and fired multiple rounds into the driver’s seat area. The victim was shot and received non-life-threatening injuries.
- Nov. 26, 2020 in the 6200 block of Clovis St. Case# 20-3310864
Two construction workers were working on a rooftop when they were shot at by a white sedan.
- Dec. 22, 2020 in the 2400 block of Spirit of Texas Dr. Case# 20-3571420
A suspect in a gray sedan engaged in aggressive driving and followed a victim, shooting into her vehicle. The victim received serious injuries but survived.
- Dec. 24, 2020 in the 3800 block of Promontory Point Dr. Case# 20-3650777
A suspect displayed a gun in a threatening manner toward the employees of a restaurant.
After Munguia’s death in December, his sisters told KVUE his death has ripped their family apart.
"We will miss him every day. It's more and more. It's just been very difficult, it's – for me, it feels like not two months have passed. It feels like just yesterday and everything is still there, so I miss him. You know, his goofiness, him going around the house," said Erlinda Hernandez, Munguia's sister. "And knowing that this is going to be something we have to live with makes it a lot more difficult, something that we can't even comprehend."
Lopez’s father, JR Lopez, told KVUE his two daughters, going home after dinner, came across a car driving erratically in circles at the roundabout at Todd Lane and Pleasant Valley Road.
He said his oldest daughter, Lisa, honked the horn and that's when the other car started chasing them.
Lopez said his daughters got scared and pulled over. The other car also pulled over. Lopez said someone in the other car started shooting at them.
Miranda had her own gun and shot back before being shot in the head.
"I've lost my baby. I'm not going to hear my baby's heart no more. I'm not going to hear your voice. I'm not going to hug you. I'm not going to hear her tell me she loves me. I can't tell her I love her. My baby ... My family is devastated. My daughter is blaming herself. And I'm afraid for my daughter and her mother because they keep saying they can't live with that," Lopez cried.
Anyone with any information on any of the cases is asked to contact Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: