AUSTIN (KXAN) – On Wednesday, Austin police arrested and booked a second person into the Travis County Jail in connection to a July 3 deadly shooting in the 800 block of North Interstate 35, near Austin Police Department headquarters.
Manuel Saldana, 18, was charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of 34-year-old Duvan Betancourth-Gonzalez, according to an arrest affidavit. He is one of three people tied to the death of that man, though police affidavits point to different levels of involvement for each suspect.
KXAN reached out to Saldana’s attorney and will update this story when we receive a response.
The affidavit stated three young men robbed Betancourth-Gonzalez, returned to their vehicle and then drove off toward North I-35. In his SUV, Betancourth-Gonzalez began to chase the suspects while calling 911 for help, according to documents.
HALO camera footage showed Betancourth-Gonzalez eventually hit the suspect’s car, and stopped his SUV in front of it on the highway.
In the suspect car, police would later learn it was Juan Eduardo Martinez, 20, in the driver’s seat. Saldana and an unnamed minor were also in the car, along with two women police say were not involved in the robbery.
The video showed Martinez getting out of his vehicle and walking up to confront Betancourth-Gonzalez after being hit. At the same time, the unnamed minor got out and walked along the passenger side of the vehicles, the affidavit for Saldana described.
Betancourth-Gonzalez’s vehicle can then be seen quickly backing up into the suspect’s vehicle, and the unnamed minor fired multiple shots into the victim’s vehicle, according to this affidavit. A different affidavit tied to this case said it was Martinez who fired the weapon.
The video showed that as Betancourth-Gonzalez drove away, he crashed into the highway wall and then neither he nor his vehicle moved again. All the occupants of the suspect vehicle then ran from the scene, according to the footage.
Police arrived and found a backpack full of money, the victim’s passport and wallet inside the suspect vehicle, along with a cellphone belonging to Saldana, they wrote.
After the shooting, witnesses reported seeing people running off the highway. One witness reported seeing a young man, later identified as the unnamed minor, run and appear to throw something into the woods, according to the affidavit.
It said during a search of the woods, officers found a disassembled pistol.
“The disassembled pistol was identified as a Springfield Amory XD-40 model and was of the same caliber of the spent cartridges casing recovered on the scene of the murder,” the affidavit said.
As of Friday, Saldana remained in police custody, and he was being held on a $300,000 bond.
Martinez was arrested and booked into the Travis County jail Friday with his bail set at $100,000. He met bond and was out of jail early Sunday morning, according to jail records.
KXAN reached out to Austin police about whether the unnamed minor has been arrested.