Victim in Midland County triple murder saved girlfriend during shooting: affidavit

Local News

MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar) – After a manhunt spanning five days, 23-year-old Kevin Alexis Martinez is in custody.

A newly-released mugshot shows the triple murder suspect’s changed appearance: bald and without facial hair.

The Hereford Police Department in Deaf Smith County, which lies approximately 50 miles southwest of Amarillo, found and arrested Martinez without incident on Thursday, October 21st, according to the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.

Martinez was labeled a wanted fugitive for three capital murders committed on Sunday, October 17th. The victims were 23-year-old James Davidson, 29-year-old Walter Ayala, and 35-year-old Gilberto Tapia-Lopez, per MCSO.

All three victims were from Midland. They died from gunshot wounds early Sunday morning, just before 2 A.M. The deadly shooting happened on the 1200 block of E CR 124 in South Midland County.

A probable cause affidavit for Martinez’s arrest reveals a harrowing timeline of events, starting late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. The affidavit details the account of an unnamed witness to the shooting, whose boyfriend was killed. Two other witnesses corroborated this witness’ account by sharing similar details, according to the affidavit. All names in the affidavit have been redacted, except for those of investigators.

The affidavit says the witness told investigators, she, her boyfriend and several other friends had gone to El Mitote Sports Lounge on Rankin Hwy in Midland around 10 P.M. on Saturday night.

They were there to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

But at some point, during the celebration, the affidavit says the witness’ boyfriend and other male friends got into a physical fight with another man in the bar’s bathroom.

The affidavit does not state the identity of that man.

After the fight, the group of friends – five of them in total, three women and two men – decided to leave El Mitote Sports Lounge to return to the house of the witness’ boyfriend, according to the court document.

The document goes on to say, on the way to the victim’s home, the two men in the vehicle were upset with the suspect. There had been a verbal argument between the men and Martinez. The subject of the argument is unknown. Martinez was living at the victim’s house on E CR 124 for about four months total.

When the group arrived at the house, the affidavit says the group was on the driveway walking toward the home, when the witness saw Martinez approach them. He was holding a rifle and immediately began to shoot.

The affidavit says the boyfriend of the witness was able to push her to the ground, out of the way of gunfire. The witness recalled to investigators, hearing the gunshots, crawling toward the back of the vehicle, and staying down until the gunshots stopped. She heard a vehicle door slam and then, leave.

The witness told investigators she called 911. Police would tell her, a friend who arrived in a separate vehicle was also killed.

A second and a third witness were interviewed and gave a similar account of events, according to the affidavit. All witnesses identified Martinez as the shooter. The affidavit says all witnesses know the suspect well and had considered him a friend.

A motive is still unclear.

Martinez is being held at Deaf Smith County Jail.

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