Austin Police arrest teenager in connection to Thanksgiving homicide

18-year-old Edgar Perez-Gamez is charged with murder in connection to the shooting death of a man in North Austin last Thanksgiving. (Photo: Austin Police Department)

Austin Police have made an arrest in connection to the shooting death of a man in North Austin last Thanksgiving.

18-year-old Edgar Perez-Gamez is charged with murder in the death of 23-year-old Samuel Charlez on North Lamar near West Rundberg Lane.

Charlez was shot on November 23 and died from his wounds on December 6.

On January 30, APD asked for the public's help in identifying a suspect after charges against the original suspect, Hector Mario Guajardo-Garcia, were dropped on January 23, 2018.

A second victim decided not to collaborate with the authorities in the investigation.

Police say the second victim has recanted on his statement identifying Guajardo-Garcia as the shooter, to include saying he picked the wrong person out of the photo lineup he was given.

According to the affidavit, Charlez's mother told police on February 1, she was contacted by two males that Perez-Gamez had admitted to shooting the victim.

On February 5, police say they spoke to a friend of the suspect, who told officers that before the shooting, Perez-Gamez had dropped a cousin off at the Runnymede apartments and was driving through the parking lot to avoid the red light when several subjects flagged him down.

The suspect's friend told police that Perez-Gamez thought he might have known them. When he drove up tp the subjects, Perez-Gamez told his friend they were "trippin'" and thought one of the males that approached the vehicle was going to his waistband for a gun, so he shot at them.

Police say the suspect came home the night of the shooting and told his mother what had happened, and that when he stopped after the men in the parking lot flagged him down, one of them punched him in the face. Perez-Gamez also told his mother about the man he thought was reaching for a gun.

The affidavit states that the suspect told his mother that he fired at the men with his gun to defend himself and that he "felt bad he had to shoot someone."

Police said that despite Perez-Gamez's claims of self-defense, he never made any attempt to contact police that night or at any time in the past 2 and a half months to explain himself.

Perez-Gamez was booked into the Travis County Jail. His bond is set at $250,000.

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