Tuesday, July 16, 2019 | 8:50 p.m.
Blasts from illegal fireworks were still audible in this neighborhood — and it was July 6, two days after Independence Day. But these loud east valley explosions were more distinct, a neighbor told Metro Police.
It was two gunshots, which were followed by a pause, and then one more bang. It was about two hours before authorities located the target of the bullets, a person whose body was found on the floorboard of a simmering pickup truck about four miles away from the commotion, police said.
Ten days after the slaying, the victim still hasn’t been publicly identified by the Clark County Coroner’s Office. The suspect, however, was arrested hours after the grim discovery was made about 4:40 a.m. on July 6 in the 3300 block of Greenwood Springs Drive, police said.
When detectives arrived at the trailer where the slaying allegedly occurred in the 4900 block of East Hidalgo Way, 29-year-old Joshua Martinez had a swollen lip, according to police. He shared the trailer with the victim.
Martinez told detectives the facial injury was the result of playing with his roommate’s dog.
But he couldn’t explain the diluted blood found on the front doorsteps, the blood found splatter on the ceiling and a recliner in the living room, the carpet cleaner, and the red carpet that had recently been used to replace other carpet, police said. Also, Martinez’s clothes had red fibers on it and a bullet was found on the floor.
He eventually admitted to being in a scuffle with the victim, which he said injured his face, but denied involvement in the slaying, police said. Asked about the home’s surveillance system, Martinez told police it didn’t work. Their landlord said otherwise, and sent detectives video clips.
While it wasn’t clear if detectives had established a possible motive, the camera captured a verbal argument and at least four gunshots, police said. Another camera in the area recorded the victim’s 2005 Ford Ranger at 4:27 a.m. driving toward the wash near where the burning pickup truck was found in flames.
Two minutes later, the same camera caught a person, who resembled Martinez, running away.
Thirteen minutes later, at 4:40 a.m., Martinez was captured by another camera from a pharmacy. At the same time, the Clark County Fire Department was summoned to a call about a burning pickup truck.
Martinez is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on one count of murder.