BLOTTER: Parents of 20-year-old Austin shooting victim sue suspect


SOUTHEAST AUSTIN

Parents of 20-year-old shooting victim sue suspect

The parents of 20-year-old Mario Gamez — who police say was shot dead in 2016 by one of his friends while they were riding in a car in Austin together — are suing the alleged shooter and the others who were in the car at the time.

“Mario Gamez Contreras Sr. and Baudina Santos De Gamez want to find out what really happened that night and have a Travis County jury send a clear message that these kinds of incidents will not be tolerated so others will not suffer the same fate,” the couple’s attorney said in a statement.

Gamez’s parents are suing the four people who were in the car wtih Gamez that day: the alleged shooter Cesar Moncada, the driver and two other people. Moncada’s mother and the car’s owner, who were not in the vehicle at the time, are also defendants in the suit.

Moncada was indicted on a charge of manslaughter in the case, which is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 20. He has entered a plea of not guilty, and he posted bail about three months after he was arrested, court records show.

Gamez was fatally shot on Aug. 21, 2016, when the five people in the car were headed to a store on William Cannon Drive, police have said. While they were in Southeast Austin, a gunshot went off in the car, Moncada’s arrest affidavit says.

Gamez said he’d been shot, and the driver sped to what was then University Medical Center Brackenridge in Central Austin, the affidavit says.

When they arrived, a police officer began to question Gamez. The officer found a .40-caliber Glock automatic pistol in Moncada’s right pant leg, the affidavit says.

Gamez was pronounced dead minutes after he was taken into the emergency room, police said.

The driver later told police that Moncada appeared to be intoxicated but he wasn’t sure if Moncada was drunk or had used drugs, the affidavit says. Moncada’s indictment says he shot Gamez “after introducing into his body alcohol … a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance.”

Police said they are unsure what caused Moncada to discharge the firearm.

The parents are suing for an unspecific amount of monetary damages.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

NORTH AUSTIN

Driver faces charges after passenger dies in crash

A man has been arrested after a woman who was in his car died in a crash in North Austin.

At the time of the crash, which happened at 8:50 p.m. on Aug. 22 near Koenig Lane and Interstate 35, Austin police said the woman was partially out of the vehicle when they were struck.

Brianna Nicole Polzine, 24, died at the scene, police said. The driver with her in the vehicle, 26-year-old Justin Dakota Ayers, was arrested, police said.

Ayers was driving south on the I-35 frontage road when he ran a red light at Koenig Lane, police said. A car crashed into him, and Ayers’ car then struck a third vehicle, police said.

The drivers of the two other cars were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

Ayers is charged with intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault and failing to stop and render aid, police said.

Anyone with information about this case should call the Austin police vehicular homicide unit at 512-974-3761.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

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CENTRAL AUSTIN

Police: Pedestrian hit by car dies 9 days later

Austin police have identified a pedestrian who died after being hit by a car in North Austin on Aug. 15 as 63-year-old Thomas Edward Craig.

The crash happened around 8:17 p.m. in the 6900 block of Guadalupe Street, near Kenniston Drive, police said.

A 2018 Mitsubishi was headed north when the driver slammed into Craig, police said.

Craig was rushed to an area hospital after the crash, but he died from his injuries on Aug. 24.

The driver of the Mitsubishi stayed at the scene of the crash. Police did not say whether the driver is facing charges, or whether Craig was on a sidewalk or the roadway at the time of the incident.

Austin police vehicular homicide detectives are investigating the incident, and ask anyone with additional information to call 512-974-3761.

Craig’s death marked the 47th traffic fatality in Austin this year, police said.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman

CENTRAL AUSTIN

Police: Driver ejected from SUV after I-35 crash dies

A driver died after she and her passenger were ejected from her SUV during a crash on Interstate 35 in Central Austin last week, police said.

Emergency crews responded at 6 a.m. on Aug. 21 to the crash on I-35 near Airport Boulevard. The SUV left the road for unknown reasons and began to roll, police said. The driver, 23-year-old Kendall Taylor Dezelle, and her passenger were ejected.

They were both taken to Dell Seton Medical Center, where Dezelle died on Monday, police said.

Anyone with information about this case should call the Austin police vehicular homicide unit at 512-974-3761.

This is Austin’s 48th traffic fatality this year, police said. Forty-three people had died in traffic crashes at this time last year.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

NORTH AUSTIN

Man seriously injured in crash

A man was seriously injured in a North Austin crash Wednesday evening, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said.

The man, estimated to be in his 20s, has potentially life-threatening injuries, EMS officials said.

Medics responded at 6:30 p.m. to the crash in the 1900 block of Ohlen Road. They took the man to Dell Seton Medical Center.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

SOUTHEAST AUSTIN

Police: Man killed in Texas 71 crash was 21

Austin police have identified a man who died Saturday in a rollover crash on Texas 71 as 21-year-old Juvenal Rubio Martinez.

Martinez was in the passenger seat of a Ford Explorer headed east in the 1500 block of the Texas 71 East when the driver lost control around 1:24 a.m., causing the vehicle to flip, police said.

Martinez was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Austin police are still investigating the case and are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 512-974-3761.

— Mark D. Wilson, American-Statesman



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