A man facing a murder charge who surrendered to the Washington Police Department told officers he did not commit the crime. On Wednesday evening, Gabriel Enrique Mora-Ruiz, 18, Washington, walked into the police department and told officers he was wanted for murder in Puerto Rico. Police checked and found Mora-Ruiz was wanted for murder, two counts of attempted murder and weapons charges in connection with a shooting in Puerto Rico on January 25 that left one man dead with multiple gunshots and another injured.
Authorities report the shooting near Las Lomas took the life of Christian Ortiz Costa, 25, who died of multiple gunshot wounds, and left Kevin Santos Estrada, 23, with a bullet wound to the leg. Mora-Ruiz was one of two people charged in the case.
City police placed Mora-Ruiz under arrest and took him without incident to the Daviess County Jail where he was booked in under the Puerto Rico warrant. He will be held until extradition proceedings are completed.
The Washington Police Department said Mora-Ruiz told them that he came to Washington on January 27 because he has friends that live here. When the allegations against him came to light he said his friends and family contacted him.
Mora-Ruiz said he talked with authorities in Puerto Rico who advised him to surrender to local police.
"He stated he is innocent and wanted to go back to get this resolved and behind him," said Washington Police Sgt. Greg Dietsch. "It is common for people to turn themselves in to law enforcement when learning of having an active warrant for their arrest, but I would say it is uncommon for a subject to do so when they are wanted for murder. This was very unusual for someone to show up under these circumstances but was the right decision for him to do. I’m glad he made that choice and that it went smoothly for both parties involved. The Puerto Rican authorities were very helpful and had the necessary paperwork to us in a timely manner where we were able to incarcerate Gabriel the same evening he surrendered."
City police report there was no gang affiliation involved in the shooting.