Three charged with capital murder in Craigslist drug deal shootout

Police say Cutberto Moran-Ayala was originally shot in southeast Austin but ended up dying at 8038 Exchange Dr. on June 8, 2017. (KXAN Photo)
Police say Cutberto Moran-Ayala was originally shot in southeast Austin but ended up dying at 8038 Exchange Dr. on June 8, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police are investigating after a man was shot and killed in northeast Austin Thursday around 10 p.m. Three suspects have been charged with capital murder in what police are describing as a drug deal on Craigslist that turned into a shooting homicide.

According to the Austin Police Department, they received a call at 9:54 p.m. for gunshots at 4309 East St. Elmo Rd. At the time, they were told two vehicles left the scene after the shots were fired.

Around 10:05 p.m. police received a call for a man who had been shot and was not breathing at 8038 Exchange Dr., more than 10 miles away from the original shooting scene. Witnesses and officers performed CPR on the man until medics arrived but they were ultimately unable to save the man, identified by police as Cutberto Moran-Ayala, 26. He was pronounced dead at 10:19 p.m.

Savon Galloway, 22, Christopher Hamilton, 19, and Akeem Bradford, 22, all face capital murder charges for the homicide. A fourth suspect, 19-year-old Keon Walton, was arrested on an unrelated charge of assault with injury–family violence. Galloway and Hamilton were taken into custody by Williamson County SWAT on Copper Creek Drive at around 12:30 p.m., while Bradford and Walton were arrested by Austin police.

Akeem Bradford (Austin Police Department Photo)
Akeem Bradford (Austin Police Department Photo)

Authorities had originally said that the shooting happened inside The Reserve at Walnut Creek Apartments, but now say the two incidents are connected and Moran-Ayala was driven to his apartment from E. St. Elmo Road by a friend, who then called police.

Officers say Moran-Ayala had advertised selling marijuana on Craigslist and Bradford contacted him to meet for the sale. While in a parking lot on St. Elmo Road, Bradford got into the backseat to talk about the deal with Moran-Ayala.

Galloway approached the vehicle moments later and tapped on the driver’s door, according to police. Police say he then pulled out a silver handgun and fired it into the vehicle. Moran-Ayala grabbed the pistol and wrestled it away from Galloway, and then began to fire at Galloway from inside the vehicle.

Hamilton, who was with Galloway and Bradford, returned fire as Moran-Ayala’s friend sped away. Moran-Ayala was hit with multiple gunshot wounds. All four suspects are from the Chicago area.

Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text “Tip 103” + your message to CRIMES.or use the new Crime Stoppers App. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD, for free on iPhone and Android.

This is the city’s 12th murder of 2017.

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