Affidavit Details Events Leading Up to Cheryl Drive Shooting Arrests

Details of Friday's arrests in the Feb. 16 Cheryl Drive shooting are coming to light now that arrest affidavits have been released, pointing to retaliation between family members.

Brendon Gaytan, 26, and Cruz Salazar, 22, were both arrested at an apartment in the 800 block of Indiana Avenue early Friday morning and charged with capital murder. A week before, 48-year old Juanita Bustamante and her daughter, 26-year old Maricela Bustamante, were arrested in the 100 block of Adams Street for tampering with evidence.

The shooting resulted in the death's of six-year old Nevaeh Oliva and two-year old Lilliana Valent.

The two male suspects appeared in the 347th District Court Monday, where they received court appointed attorneys. Gaytan told the court that he had hired Attorney Ron Baroso. However, Baroso's office said he has not been retained by Gaytan, so instead, the court appointed Attorney Rick Rogers to defend Gaytan. Salazar told the court that he plans to hire an attorney himself, but the court appointed him Attorney Jim Lawrence.

Shortly after, the arrest affidavits for Gaytan, Salazar and Maricela Bustamante were released to 3News. Based on those affidavits, we have broken down the events of that night into a timeline to help better understand what happened.

The affidavit breaks down what police saw at the crime scene on Cheryl Drive the night of Feb. 16.

When officers arrived at the home on Cheryl Drive on Feb. 16, they found Ashley Leal, the mother of two-year old Lilliana Valent, holding her daughter. Lilliana was not breathing and was unresponsive with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.

The girl's father, Arnold Valent, told police that he was stepping outside when the shots were fired.

In a later interview, however, he told police that he was shot at by Brendon Gaytan. The affidavit states that Valent said Gaytan was "retaliating at them."

3News has learned that the father of two-year old Lilliana , Arnold Valent, has a criminal past dating back to 2006, when he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. He also had another conviction for a drive-by shooting in 2007. He was sentenced to four years in prison and 10 years probation.

In the home, police saw blood on the living room couch, the hallway at the front bedroom and human tissue on the floor, walls and ceiling of the living room.

While police at the scene questioned witnesses there, Jose Oliva was stopped as he drove his six-year old daughter, Nevaeh Oliva, to the hospital with two gunshot wounds to the chest and back. Oliva said that Brandon Gaytan, his step-brother, told him he had an "SKS assault style rifle," the same type of weapon that fired the 7.62 caliber rounds into the Cheryl Drive home.

The children were taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, where hospital employees told police they had overheard family members yelling, "It was Brendon."

During a search of Gaytan's home, police found ammunition, body armor and high powered rifles, all belonging to Gaytan.

The affidavit quotes a witness who spoke to Gaytan and Salazar soon after the shooting. They were driving a black Malibu when they arrived at a drug house on Dolores Street. The witness told police they appeared nervous, and quoted them as saying they had "f****d up." That same witness said that, a few days later, they had overheard a phone call where Gaytan talked about having "hit up a house" and done "dirt," slang for killed, on someone because of money that was stolen or owed to him.

The affidavit report said Gaytan and Salazar had rented the black Malibu from a female at the drug house the night of the shooting.

Meanwhile, Juanita and Maricela Bustamante were arrested for tampering with evidence. According to the arrest affidavit, the two had gone to a home in 100 block of Adams Street asking a witness to hide a .38 caliber pistol in the garage there. The affidavit states that Maricela told the witness the gun belonged to her boyfriend and was used in a recent shooting.

That gun was there for five days, until police were eventually tipped off and found the weapon. It was the same type of weapon that was used in the shooting on Cheryl Drive.

Juanita posted bond late Monday.

The affidavit will be followed up by much more detailed information, along with forensics and physical evidence. All of this will be privy for the Nueces County District Attorney and prosecutors, and eventually, all of it will be made public once the defendants go on trial for capital murder.

Whether or not the DA will ask for the death penalty has not been announced.


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