APD investigating several gun-related incidents in South Austin

Austin police said over the last five months, two homicides, several shootings, and numerous gun-related incidents have been reported in South Austin

On Tuesday, police charged 21-year-old Manuel Huerta and 33-year-old Jonathan Zavala for the murders of Omar Munguia and Miranda Lopez

Police said the suspects may be involved in as many as 11 cases beginning last September in Austin, as well as others in Hays County and New Braunfels. That includes stealing guns from the New Braunfels Police Department, stealing cars, aggravated assaults and the two murders. 


"You killed my cousin. You killed my little cousin," said Sophia Salazar, the cousin of 21-year-old Miranda Lopez. 

On December 26, as Lopez's sister was driving her home from dinner, a grey sedan got into some kind of road rage incident with them at the intersection of St. Elmo and Pleasant Valley Drive. Detectives said the people in the grey car shot at Lopez, hitting her several times. She died three days later. 

RELATED: Search for potential witness to fatal road rage incident

"She had a big heart, she had a very big heart. Sweet girl, she didn’t deserve this," Salazar said.  

Huerta is also charged with the murder of 20-year-old Omar Munguia. That case dates back to November 25, near the intersection of East Riverside Drive and Pleasant Valley. Police said Munguia and a passenger in his car were shot after he cut off a driver in a white Honda who followed him for several blocks while firing multiple rounds. Munguia later died from his injuries. 

RELATED: Family of man killed in road rage incident searching for answers

"These murders were over nothing. The other groups, the suspects in these cases, were just angry. They didn’t know their victims at all. It’s hard for us to wrap our heads around shooting somebody you don’t know at all, but they did it repeatedly," said Det. Nathan Sexton with the APD homicide unit. 

Surveillance video of Munguia's murder led police to believe the suspect was driving a 2016 or 2017 Honda Accord. A Crimestoppers tip led them to the suspects.

RELATED: Caravan held in Zilker Park to honor man shot in road rage incident

Detectives said they believe the two men were involved in other shootings, stolen weapons cases, and stolen vehicle cases spanning Travis, Hays, and Comal counties. "I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and there’s charges to come and there may be additional suspects," said Det. Filemon Zamora, also with APD's homicide unit. 

Lopez's cousin said she wants to make sure the two suspects pay for the pain they've caused. "All I ask is please let's get the death penalty on these guys," Salazar said. 


Police said the murder suspects may face additional charges as the multi-county investigation continues.

Investigators are asking for tips about the following eight incidents:

  • September 23, 2020: APD says that a suspect in a white Honda sedan was swerving and driving recklessly behind the victim's vehicle in the 2400 block of W. Stassney Lane. The suspect followed the victim further and fired two shots from the sunroof at the victim.
  • October 10, 2020: APD says that a suspect in a white Honda sedan cut the complainant off for no reason and displayed a handgun at them in a threatening manner in the 2400 block of E. Riverside Drive.
  • November 25, 2020: APD says that a suspect in a white Honda sedan began driving aggressively and followed Omar Munguia from Oltorf Street to Riverside Drive where several shots were fired, resulting in Munguia's death.
  • November 26, 2020: APD says that a suspect in a white Honda stopped next to the victim in the 2400 block of Grove Boulevard near Riverside and began to rev the engine. A Hispanic male got out of the car and fired multiple rounds into the driver's seat area. The victim was shot resulting in non-life-threatening injuries.
  • November 26, 2020: APD says that two construction workers were working on a rooftop in the 6200 block of Clovis Street when they were shot at by a white sedan.
  • December 22, 2020: APD says that a suspect in a gray sedan engaged in aggressive driving in the 2400 block of Spirit of Texas Drive and followed the victim, shooting into her vehicle. The victim suffered serious injuries but survived.
  • December 24, 2020: APD says a suspect displayed a gun in a threatening manner toward the employees of a restaurant in the 3800 block of Promontory Point.
  • December 26, 2020: APD says that suspects in a gray sedan engaged in aggressive driving with the victims near the intersection of E. St. Elmo and S. Pleasant Valley, followed them and fired multiple rounds, resulting in Lopez's death

Anyone with more information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477) or Austin Police.