Monday, December 22, 2014

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Austin police answer 3 murder calls this week

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Uncharacteristic of trends in city crime, Austin homicide detectives have been called to three murder scenes in the last week.

The three murders have raised the number of homicides in the city this year from eight to 11.

The first this week was the murder of David Villareal in the 360 Condominiums in downtown Austin.

Police say Villareal had been hanging out at a club on Fourth Street near his home Friday night into early Saturday morning when he went home with a man. Surveillance video captured the two entering the condo building, but only the unknown suspect is seen leaving.

Villareal’s body was found two days later when a friend of his called police, suspicious that he hadn’t heard from Villareal in a couple of days. Officer’s entered the 36-year-old’s condo and found his body.

Police describe the suspect as a white man in his 20s or early 30s with short brown hair and a medium build. He’s seen leaving the condominium wearing a white T-shirt and blue, plaid shorts.

Also this week, Austin police arrested the man they believe is responsible in the murder of 61-year-old Rickey Martinez in North Austin.

Martinez was taken to the hospital on Monday with life-threatening injuries and died two days later. Hospital staff determined that Martinez’s injuries were not accidental and his death was ruled a homicide.

Shortly after, police arrested 51-year-old Bruce Thompson and charged him with murder, a first-degree felony. He’s currently being held in the Travis County Jail on $500,000 bond.

The third murder of the week happened in the early morning hours of Friday. Police were called to Gonzales Street near Springdale and East Seventh around 12:40 a.m.

Office found a man who had been shot. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died shortly after.

Detectives are still looking for one or more suspects in that incident.

Anyone with information on any of these three murders are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-TIPS.

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