$1 million bond for second suspect in Far East El Paso shooting

Local

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Police Department arrested a second man in connection to a shooting in Far East El Paso last Thursday.

Oscar Contreras, 25, is behind bars at the El Paso County Detention Facility in Downtown on a $1 million bond. He was arrested by police gang investigators and members of the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force on Tuesday.

He is charged with aggravated assault causing bodily injury. It’s unclear what role he played in the case.

Police say Joey Gonzalez sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds on June 3 on Nina Pearl Drive. Police were dispatched to the area, where they found Gonzalez and arranged for him to be taken to Del Sol Hospital for treatment, where the second gunshot was identified.

Officers with the El Paso Police Department’s Gang Unit identified Jonathan Meraz, 17, as the suspected shooter in the case. On Saturday, officers executed a warrant for Meraz at his residence on Merry Meadow Place in Far East El Paso.

A police affidavit says Gonzalez contacted Meraz the night of the shooting after using a social media platform. Meraz allegedly used the platform to negotiate narcotics deal.

They met at a park on the 12400 block of Nina Pearl in Far East El Paso. Gonzalez entered the left rear passenger seat of a grey Honda Civic when he arrived.

Gonzalez told police he noticed an unknown Hispanic female was driving the vehicle and another Hispanic male was in the rear passenger seat next to Gonzalez.

Meraz allegedly asked if Gonzalez had “the bills,” which he followed up by handing over currency. Then, Meraz and the unknown male in the right rear passenger seat allegedly produced firearms and pointed them at Gonzalez.

Gonzalez told police he was ordered not to move as Meraz took the money from his hands, which he missed. Gonzalez said he tried to open the passenger side door and began to run toward his vehicle with the money in his hand.

The two males then got out of the Honda and began firing their weapons at Gonzalez.

Police say six rounds were fired at Gonzalez, one struck his upper right leg. They then entered the vehicle and sped off, police added.

“Gonzalez provided officers with a social media profile belonging to defendant Jonathan Alexander Meraz and advised officers that the defendant was an acquaintance to the witness,” a police affidavit said.

This story will be updated.

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