Long Beach police chief Robert Luna said Saturday morning that police arrested a suspect in Iowa in connection to a deadly shooting that took place the night of Sept. 4 near Drake Park where a couple was killed.
Long Beach homicide detectives, working in collaboration with the U.S. Marshals Southern District of Iowa Fugitive Task Force, arrested Joshua Wells, a 29-year-old resident of Long Beach on Thursday, Luna said during a press briefing.
“Thankfully, our department has a detective assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, which specializes in locating suspects who were on the run like this suspect was,” Luna said.
Wells was arrested near a family member’s residence in Windsor Heights, Iowa, police said. He was booked for the murders of both 44-year-old Maricela Honorato and 39-year-old Juan Guizar-Gutierrez, according to Luna.
Police said Wells is expected to be extradited back to Long Beach to face prosecution, however, at this time it is not known when he will make his first appearance in court, according to a police spokesman. He is currently being held on $6,065,000 bail, police said.
Prior to the arrest, detectives had presented their case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, which granted the detectives an arrest warrant for two counts of murder. Search warrants were also sent out to two locations, one of them in Iowa. Police said both search warrant services resulted in evidence that linked the suspect to the crimes.
“While a lot of information is unknown at this time, detectives believe the motive for the shooting may be related to an earlier altercation that occurred in this area,” Luna said. “The altercations are still being investigated.”
When asked to elaborate more on the altercation, Luna said he did not want to go into detail because they have received misinformation as well as credible information and did not want to spread information detectives could not confirm.
Family and friends had previously told the Long Beach Post that they believed the shooting stemmed from a road-rage incident. While there is no evidence that this crime stemmed from a potential road rage incident, detectives will not rule out the possibility, police said.
“That’s why I’m really asking that if anybody out there saw something—they heard something, whatever it may be, it helps us to prosecute this individual to the full extent of the law,” Luna said.
Family members for both victims were present during the press briefing. They declined to speak to members of the media.
Family hosted a vigil for the victims on Sunday one day after Guizar-Gutierrez and Honorato died. People brought flowers and lit candles as small prayers were said for the victims.
Honorato left behind three daughters.
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