RENO, NV - The four suspects that terrorized two Nevada cities over the weekend will be charged with murder, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery including the youngest suspect.
The age of the youngest male suspect, 13-year-old Jose Cruz, will not save him. Washoe County prosecutor for this case says he will be tried as an adult and face the same charges as his older counterparts including murder. He is now being held at the Washoe County jail following his transfer from Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center.
The other three suspects, Luis Sanchez, Jacob Sanchez and Aurora Rodriguez-Perez were arraigned Thursday morning for their link to a string of robberies in a span of three hours Saturday night in Reno and Carson City.
This series of crimes started on the evening of May 8th says police with all the defendants riding around looking for random victims walking along roadways to rob of their valuables. At about 9:30p.m. they encountered the first victim in the area of Virginia Lake and proceeded to take his personal belongings.
From there, they are believed to have committed a robbery of a man in the Peckham Lane area. This man was robbed of a bottle of beer and an empty wallet. This victim has not come forward yet and police would like to talk with him.
The defendants then travelled over to Carson City where they committed two additional robberies. One was along a busy roadway near Roop St. and the other in a quiet residential neighborhood on Peters Avenue. While in Carson City they attempted to rob another man walking along Carson Street. When this victim took off running, one of the suspects shot at him.
The defendants then returned to Reno where their crime spree continued. At about 12:35 a.m. they waited in the shadows for 27-year-old Steven Gale and his two friends, a woman and a man, to walk by them on California Avenue. As the victims passed by, one of the suspects tried to steal the woman's purse. A struggle ensued over the purse and Gale and his male friend went to her aid. During this struggle, one of the suspects, believed to now be Jacob Sanchez, discharged a single round from a handgun, killing Gale.
The handgun used in this murder has not been recovered. Detectives believe it may have been given to another individual after the crime. They are asking for that person to voluntarily come forward prior to detectives locating him and possibly charging him for offenses related to this crime.
The loss from these robberies has not all been recovered. Detectives are asking anyone who may have found a handgun, backpack, cellular telephones or empty wallets to please contact their local law enforcement agency and notify either the Reno Police Dept. or the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.
According to Reno police, the alleged shooter, Jacob Sanchez, asked the judge what's next. He did not receive an answer.
No bail was set.