AUSTIN, Texas - A warrant has been issued for a man accused of shooting and killing a woman in the parking lot of a Northeast Austin apartment complex last week.
Pedro Fuentes Espinoza, 42, has been charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of 38-year-old Elvi Vanessa Cervantes-De La Torre.
According to court paperwork, Austin police officers responded to a shooting at the Canyon Trail Apartments on Grand Canyon Drive on Feb. 17 just before 11 p.m. Officers found two victims, a man and Cervantes-Del La Torre. The man was bleeding from a gunshot wound to his leg while leaning into an SUV. Cervantes-Del La Torre was found unresponsive in the driver seat with multiple gunshot wounds. Officers performed CPR until medical personnel arrived, but Cervantes-Del La Torre was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas where he was interviewed by police, says court paperwork. He told officers he lived at the apartment complex and was picked up by Cervantes-Del La Torre in her SUV. They drove together to the southern portion of the parking lot where they parked near a group of eight to ten Hispanic males loitering and drinking beer.
While parked, the man said two Hispanic men approached them and one standing by the driver door and the other by the passenger door. He said it appeared as though the two men were trying to get them to leave as one of them argued with Cervantes-Del La Torre through her open window. At one point, several others from the group came over and pushed the man arguing with Cervantes-Del La Torre back in an effort to calm him down, says court paperwork.
The man walked away for a short while before returning with a handgun, firing and hitting Cervantes-Del La Torre multiple times, says court paperwork. After Cervantes-Del La Torre's passenger pushed the gun down, the man also shot him in the leg. Both men and the group then fled the scene in a maroon pick-up truck and a black four-door sedan.
An eyewitness identified the man who shot Cervantes-Del La Torre as Espinoza, claiming he was an acquaintance. APD showed the eyewitness a previous booking photo of Espinoza and the witness recognized him as the suspect. The witness told police they were in the parking lot with Espinoza and the group when a black truck parked nearby playing music, which irritated Espinoza. The witness said that Espinoza approached the driver's side and began yelling at the driver, causing others to walk over and try to calm him down, says court paperwork, and that Espinoza walked away, before returning with a handgun and firing at the woman. The witness said Espinoza then fled the scene in a black truck.
The witness told officers Espinoza rented a room in one of the apartments and a search warrant was executed. Officers found items belonging to Espinoza in the apartment, including paperwork to a Cadillac Escalade similar to the truck described by the eyewitness and a gray cap in the bedroom with red stains consistent with blood splatter, says court paperwork.
A second eyewitness also spoke with police, corroborating the first witness's account of the events. They said they were drinking beer in the parking lot with Espinoza when a woman parked across the parking lot from them. They said Espinoza walked over the woman and told her to move her vehicle in a disrespectful way, says court paperwork. Members of the group walked over to try and calm him down. Espinoza walked away, then turned around, walking back to the driver's side and firing numerous shots. The second witness said everyone ran for cover as Espinoza got in his black truck and fled the scene.