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Police: Loya the shooter, 2 still at large

By Chris Moore

chris.moore@panews.com

 

NEDERLAND — Nederland police believe Jonathan Loya, 20, the suspect they are holding in custody, was the man who shot and killed Joshua Caleb Martin, 34, at the Briarcliff Apartments on May 29.

According to police and witnesses, Loya was one of three men involved in an altercation with Miller in the parking lot of the apartments. The other two suspects remain at large. When police arrived, they found Miller dead in his apartment, a single gunshot wound in his back.

Police said the suspects were two black or Hispanic males along with a white male.

A witness said after the altercation, Miller went up to his apartment, which was located in the back of the complex. The witness said a man, allegedly Loya, wrestled a handgun away from the white male in the parking lot and went up stairs towards Miller’s apartment. The witness said she heard a single gunshot and saw the suspected shooter run back down stairs.

Police said Loya left in a truck while the white male and dark-complexioned male fled on foot.

After police released the name of the suspect and license plate number, Loya turned himself in the following morning. Police charged Loya with murder later that day.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter said they found the suspected murder weapon in a grass field near the scene the day after the murder and sent it to the crime lab for forensic and ballistic testing.

A witness who lived in the apartment building said the victim moved into the complex “a few weeks” before and described him as friendly and someone she could wave to. The witness said the victim had many visitors at the apartment.

Porter said the complex where the shooting occurred is a “good complex” that police rarely have to visit. Residents said management is dutiful about keeping the complex safe.

Porter called the city’s first homicide of the year “another tragic event.”

The police chief said the city’s last homicide was the Michael Legg murder on Beauxart Gardens Road in May 2018.

If anyone has any information regarding the homicide, or the whereabouts of the other two suspects, Porter said they should contact police at 409-722-4965 or Mid County Crime Stoppers at 409-724-8477.