Detective Sgt. Art Gamez said Andrew Clay Lopez was taken into custody Friday afternoon on a murder warrant issued here as he drove the 1997 Chevrolet Camaro he was seen driving the day of the shooting.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Violent Offender and Fugitive Task Force stopped the vehicle as Lopez drove along the Gulf Freeway, the stretch of Interstate Highway 45 between Houston and Galveston.
Gamez said Beeville Police Department investigators had contacted the Marshals Service in Corpus Christi, and deputy marshals there coordinated the search for Lopez with their counterparts in the Houston area.
The murder offense listed on the warrant is a first degree felony. If the suspect is convicted, he faces a possible 99-year to life sentence in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The detective leading the investigation said he was not sure if a bond had been set on the suspect in a Houston court, but Gamez said officers here will recommend that Lopez’s bond be set at $1.5 million when he arrives in Beeville.
Gamez said he expects the suspect to be brought here, “hopefully soon, maybe within a week.”
Lopez is suspected of using his vehicle to take 20-year-old Richard Longoria to Kohler Park on Aug. 17. Witnesses have said Longoria started shooting at 21-year-old Alex Longoria as the vehicle pulled up on the north side of the park. The suspect then reportedly got out of the vehicle and continued shooting at the victim with what was later reported to be a .22-caliber rifle.
Alex Longoria was struck once in the stomach area with a bullet, and he reportedly died of the wound shortly after arriving at Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville.
Richard Longoria was arrested about four hours later in the 1700 block of Emily Drive.
He also was charged with murder and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
His bond was set by Justice of the Peace Abel Suniga at $1.5 million on the murder charge and at $500,000 on the gun possession charge.
The suspected shooter was out on a $75,000 bail after being charged with aggravated robbery in connection with a holdup at a Beeville game room earlier this year.
He had been convicted in Nueces County earlier on an aggravated robbery charge.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.