AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police believe a fatal stabbing in south Austin Sunday night may have been retaliation against the victim for allegedly assaulting the man’s girlfriend and threatening his family.
Police arrested Ricardo Santos, 34, Thursday night in Big Wells, Texas. The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force took him in without incident.
Initially the Austin-based task force believed he may have traveled south on a Greyhound bus toward the Mexican border. They found he was dropped off in Uvalde, Texas, and used surveillance video from a local convenience store to see the car he was driving and track him to Big Wells.
On Sunday, police responded to 500 E. Stassney Lane around 9:22 p.m. and found Fabian Michael Gutierrez, 23, seriously injured. He died at the hospital about 30 minutes later.
Witnesses told police that two men circled the apartment complex in their pickup truck, and then started chasing Gutierrez. One person said he heard someone say “get that motherf—–!” according to the arrest warrant.
“A witness described seeing the two suspects lying on top of the victim, then getting up and running from the scene,” the arrest warrant continued. “Witnesses found the victim on the ground bleeding from wounds. They called 911 and rendered assistance.”
Around 9:37 p.m. that night a woman called APD and reported that her renter, Santos took her husband’s truck about an hour before. He returned the truck as she was talking to police, showered and then left the home again, according to the affidavit.
The investigation revealed that Santos and Gutierrez were seeing the same woman. At the end of September, she reported Gutierrez to the police for allegedly assaulting her. She told police “she did not want Gutierrez to get away with this, even if she had to kill him herself. [She] said she did not want to handle this the ‘street way’, but wanted to handle it the ‘right way’, which was why she reported it to the police,” the affidavit stated.
The day before Gutierrez died, the girlfriend accused him of assaulting her mother. The day Gutierrez died, she called 911 multiple times saying Gutierrez “was accusing her of stealing his money and if she didn’t pay him he would shoot up her house, shoot her, and possibly harm her children, which are also Richard Santos’ children.”
According to the affidavit, the last call the girlfriend made to 911 happened at 8:20 p.m., around the same time Santos’ landlady said he took her husband’s truck.
Police interviewed Santos the day after the murder and he admitted taking the truck but denied driving to the area or stabbing Gutierrez. He also said he was the only one in the truck when he took it.
A witness told police that Santos had described stabbing Gutierrez and admitted to killing him, according to the affidavit.
The arrest warrant did not elaborate on the investigation into the second man who was allegedly with Santos that night.
A warrant was issued for Santos’ arrest Thursday, with bond set at $1,000,000. He faces a felony murder charge.