Police have identified and captured a man they say shot at a car with five people inside following an attempted robbery in Gwinnett County.
Enmanuel Antigua Paulino, 20, was taken into custody Friday night in connection with the shooting, which ultimately caused the deaths of two of the five people in the car, Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said Monday in a news release.
Junior Lanuza-Gutierrez, 16, and Erik Vargas, 20, died in a hospital after the shooting, which happened Wednesday night on Indian Trail Road, according to police.
Authorities said three of the victims’ accomplices lied to them about what led to the deadly shooting, AJC.com previously reported. The trio initially told investigators the shooting occurred during a road-rage incident about 10:30 p.m. They said an unknown number of shots were fired from another vehicle into their Nissan Altima as they exited I-85 onto Indian Trail Lilburn Road.
Police discovered that was not true.
“Detectives have determined this incident was not the result of road rage, but rather stemmed from a robbery attempt,” police spokesman Sgt. Jake Smith said last week.
The five men in the Nissan met up with Paulino because someone was interested in buying a cellphone. Authorities have not specified who the seller and buyer were, but said “the initial transaction turned into a robbery.”
That is when, according to police, Paulino retrieved his firearm and opened fire on the car.
Evidence suggests the shooting was not the result of self-defense as investigators originally thought.
“Enmanuel’s threat did not rise to the level of deadly force,” Pihera said.
The three suspects who were not injured were identified as Harry Richardson, 20, Anthony Esquero, 18, and Kevin Gallardo, 17.
All three are charged with felony murder and criminal attempt at robbery, but they will likely face additional charges since another one of their accomplices died, police said.
Paulino is charged with two counts of felony murder and two counts of aggravated assault. He was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail.
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