Two separate homicides on Jan. 22 stemmed from a deadly drug deal that turned into a carjacking and a friend searching for the stolen car, according to arrest documents.
The Metropolitan Police Department announced Wednesday that Christopher Ashoff, 38, and Devin Campbell, 24, are suspects in two deadly shootings that occurred three hours apart — one in southeast Las Vegas and another in North Las Vegas, a release said.
While Campbell was arrested Tuesday, Ashoff was apprehended Jan. 31 after trying to flee from police, which led to him being shot by officers.
Officers were trying to bring Ashoff into custody on warrants related to a Jan. 17 shooting when he crashed a sedan into police vehicle multiple times and reached for a pellet gun, prompting three officers to open fire, police have said. He remained hospitalized as of late last week.
But the two Jan. 22 shootings that police believe Ashoff and Campbell are involved in happened after a drug deal turned into a deadly carjacking, according to Campbell’s arrest warrant released Thursday.
Police believe Josue Lizardo Contreras-Verdin exchanged text messages with one of the men about purchasing narcotics. Campbell and Ashoff drove to Brittlewood Avenue and Lamoille Circle, near East Russell and South Pecos roads, in a silver-and-black Dodge truck to wait for Contreras-Verdin, the warrant said.
When Contreras-Verdin arrived, he was shot multiple times, and one suspect got into his car and drove off. A witness told police he saw a Dodge truck and a silver Toyota Corolla speed from the scene, although he didn’t see either driver, the warrant said.
Detectives later determined the Dodge truck was stolen two days prior to the shooting.
The shooting was initially reported as an accident involving two cars and a pedestrian, but after officers were called to the scene at about 1:15 p.m., they discovered Contreras-Verdin has been shot, police have said.
The 24-year-old died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center later that day.
Less than two hours later, Juan Manuel Gonzalez-Cruz learned that his friend had been carjacked, the warrant said. Using an application, Gonzalez-Cruz and his girlfriend tracked his friend’s Toyota Corolla to an address in North Las Vegas, the 36-year-old’s girlfriend told detectives.
Gonzalez-Cruz drove a black Toyota Corolla to the 4800 block of Rancho Linda, near North Commerce Street and West Craig Road, to find the car.
A witness told detectives that a silver Toyota struck the black Toyota, causing the black Toyota to crash into a wall, the warrant said. The witness told police that two men jumped out of the cars, and one shot the other.
Police were called to the scene at about 4 p.m., where they found Gonzalez-Cruz lying in the road suffering from gunshot wounds. He died at the scene.
Detectives believe Campbell was the suspect who shot Gonzalez-Cruz, the warrant said.
While North Las Vegas detectives were investigating Gonzalez-Cruz’s killing, they found an abandoned silver Toyota in the parking lot of a recycling center, the warrant said. Surveillance footage showed a man, who police believe to be Campbell, pull up in the car, wipe it down, throw items into a trash can and walk away.
Detectives linked the two fatally shootings together based on an interview with Gonzalez-Cruz’s girlfriend, the warrant said. Metro then took control of both investigations.
Metro police on Jan. 27 found the abandoned Dodge truck in a KFC parking lot. Inside the truck were Ashoff’s fingerprints and a cellphone that detectives connected to Ashoff’s Facebook account.
Metro detectives also identified Campbell, who goes by the nickname “Soup,” as the suspect in the recycling center’s surveillance footage through fingerprints, glasses left at the North Las Vegas crime scene, and four phones found in the silver Toyota, the warrant said.
Both suspects face charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and two counts of murder in the Jan. 22 shootings, court records show.