AUSTIN (KXAN) – An arrest affidavit revealed details that led to the arrest of a man accused of murdering a woman Jan. 6 in the 500 block of E. Stassney Lane. The document showed an arrest warrant was issued Tuesday in Travis County after tips were submitted through Crime Stoppers.
Court documents showed that 21-year-old Manolo Esai Gonzalez was charged with the death of 22-year-old Elizabeth Nicole Lopez.
According to an affidavit, when Austin Police arrived at the scene, a single vehicle was found crashed into an apartment complex access gate. At the time of the crash, the vehicle was occupied by a driver, later identified as Lopez, and four children between the ages of 15 and 1 year old.
Documents said during the initial investigation, the two oldest children told investigators Gonzalez’s vehicle quickly approached the back of the victim’s vehicle, and Lopez briefly lost control of the vehicle before swerving into another lane.
“The suspect vehicle pulled up to the right side of the victim’s vehicle and began shooting…striking Elizabeth Lopez in the head,” the affidavit said.
Two days after the shooting, Lopez’s manner of death was ruled a homicide by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to records.
On Jan. 9, investigators received screenshots of a conversation speaking of a suspected person responsible for Lopez’s death. The person was partially identified as “Manuel,” according to records.
Three days after the shooting, an arrested person was asked for information regarding Lopez’s death.
“[The arrestee] told [investigators] that he knew the shooter was a person named ‘Manny’ and that he was an ‘opp,’” the affidavit said.
According to a report, the word “opp” is a street term commonly used to describe a foe or enemy on the streets. Manny was later identified by investigators as Gonzalez.
The affidavit said between Jan. 12-14, investigators received three separate Crime Stoppers tips from different sources. The tips identified the suspect responsible for Lopez’s death as “Manolo Gonzalez” or “Manny Gonzalez.” Additional tips surrounding the case were also submitted, according to police.
Records showed Gonzalez had two active warrants for his arrest. On Monday, he was found by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in Kyle, Texas, arrested and taken to the APD Homicide Office for questioning.
During an interview with investigators, Gonzalez admitted to firing a gun at Lopez’s vehicle during a road rage incident. He said Lopez cut him off several times and would not let him pass, and he told police he feared for his life since he could not see inside the vehicle because of the window’s tint.
Investigators said it was determined Gonzalez bypassed approximately 12 residential streets where he had the opportunity to turn away from Lopez’s vehicle, but he continued to follow the vehicle for over a mile.
On Wednesday, the Austin Police Department said Gonzalez had been arrested, and a judge set his bond at $1 million.