Suspect arrested in NW Harris County shooting that killed 3, wounded 2 faces judge

Johnathan Sanchez, 25, is charged with capital murder. We are learning more about the case against him
November 25, 2013 2:39:40 PM PST
We are learning more about the case against Johnathan Sanchez. He is the man accused of shooting five people in northwest Harris County last week. Three of those victims died.

Sanchez kept a straight face as he appeared in court Monday morning and at one point, appeared to give someone an intense stare. The 25-year-old man is charged with capital murder.

Sanchez was on the run for three days after prosecutors say he shot five people in an apartment complex in northwest Houston last week. Three of those victims died at the scene. Two others were critically injured.

On Monday, prosecutors revealed a witness told officers one day before the multiple shootings that Sanchez showed him a gun and threatened to kill the apartment tenant. The next day, neighbors say they heard at least six gunshots. Three of the victims were found on the couch. One victim was in the bathroom. Another victim was on the floor screaming for help.

The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and fugitive task force arrested Sanchez in east Harris County on Saturday.

Eyewitness News spoke with a woman named Blanca at the house where Sanchez was arrested. She says about 15 people were in this garage gathering around a TV watching the fight when Sanchez showed up asking to join in.

"We had all the people here that we knew. We don't know where he came from or who brought him, or if he was invited, or he was just walking by passing through here," she said.

Blanca says, at the time, no one knew Sanchez was a wanted man.

"He was just talking to the guys like any regular person, that he was here with friends," she said.

Blanca says her family had no idea they were partying with a dangerous man until authorities entered the garage and ordered everyone to the ground.

"I was like what about the kids, what if somebody would have stepped on him, or pushed him in the wrong way, he would have got a gun out and started shooting everybody. It's scary," she said.

Prosecutors say they're just glad the man is off the streets.

"Harris County in general has been shocked by this crime and I am sure that the residents of that apartment complex and the surrounding area were terrified and worried and are at such relief that the sheriff's office was able to arrest the defendant and that he's in custody now," said Assistant District Attorney Ann Emmons.

Sources say Sanchez did have a weapon when he was arrested. But it doesn't appear to be the murder weapon.

Deputies have not released a motive in this case, but tell us the victims and Sanchez were both involved in gangs.

Since there were multiple victims, prosecutors say this case does qualify for the death penalty. Sanchez is due back in court in January.

Find Demond on Facebook at ABC13DemondFernandez or on Twitter at @demondfernandez

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