Man charged with capital murder in parking lot hit-and-run

Zachary Looke (Austin Police Department Photo)
Zachary Looke (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Zachary Looke, 27, listed by police as transient in Austin, has been charged with capital murder for the death of Mary Piette, 62, on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Last week, officers were called to the McDonald’s parking lot at 5355 N. Interstate 35 frontage road, just south of U.S. 290 at around 1:30 a.m.

According to court documents, several witnesses in the neighboring Walgreens parking lot heard an argument moments before they saw a blue 4-door sedan run over Piette and then drive off. “The assailant’s vehicle backed out very quickly, ran over the woman, pulled forward and ran over her again [with the rear tire],” one witness told police.

Police say besides Looke in the car, there were two other women and a man inside when Piette was run over.

Investigators say they were able to find one of the women, Cierra Garza, who confirmed to police she was with Looke and others that night. Court documents say Garza wanted to go out for her birthday and smoke marijuana so she messaged Looke on Facebook.

Mary Piette (Family Photo)
Mary Piette (Family Photo)

Looke, Garza and the other man and woman in the car ended up in the McDonald’s parking lot, according to documents. They were waiting there to buy the marijuana.

Investigators detail through court documents that Looke parked his car next to Piette’s gray BMW. Garza said Piette yelled a racial slur at them.

Documents say Piette got out of her car to check if the the restaurant lobby was open, but it was closed. As she walked back to her car, she yelled at Looke’s group again.

Garza told investigators, that’s when Looke became angry and said, “You know lady, we don’t even know you. You’re coming at us [being] disrespectful,” Looke continued to say, “We’ll take you car and rob you from your s— right now!” Garza told police Looke and Piette continued arguing, saying she thought Looke and the other man in the car were just trying to scare Piette.

Documents detail Looke and the other man approached Piette, got her purse form her car, and got back into the blue sedan.

Piette ran to them, trying to get her purse back and reached into the car. At that moment Looke put the car in reverse. Piette lost her balance and fell. Garza told police Looke “ran over her once and then ran [over her with the rear axle].”

After they took off, Looke threatened everyone in the car saying, “Nobody saw that right! Don’t nobody say anything!”

Police are still looking for the other man and woman who were in the car that night. If you were a witness to the homicide, you are asked to call police.

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