Valley marks anniversary of homicides
A year ago Thursday, a Reno couple became the final victims in a quadruple murder spree that claimed two Gardnerville Ranchos women the previous week.
Gerald and Sharon David were killed on Jan. 16, but by that time investigators had developed a lead that would eventually result in the arrest of an El Salvadoran man three days later.
The firearm used to kill the Davids was apparently stolen from an outbuilding earlier in the year and then used to kill Gardnerville Ranchos resident Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken Jan. 10 and 13 less than a mile from each other.
Carson Valley residents locked their doors and armed themselves while authorities conducted the search for the killer.
The arrest of Wilber Martinez-Guzman in Carson City stopped the shootings.
Sheriff Dan Coverley issued a statement on Saturday recognizing the anniversary of the shootings.
“In January of 2019, the Douglas County community suffered a tragic loss,” Coverley said. “Our hearts are with the families of Connie Koontz, Sophia Renken, and Gerald and Sharon David while they are still in mourning. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will never forget the strength and resilience shown by our community and the aid shown with every call, every tip, and every light kept on in every neighborhood.”
Coverley, who had been sheriff for just a few days when the first shooting occurred thanked everyone who worked on the case.
“Thank you to all our law enforcement officers, investigators, volunteers and support services who worked countless hours exhibiting the utmost dedication to the safety of our community,” he said. “We suffered, but we persevered through collaboration, stamina, and determination to bring a dangerous criminal to justice. As time passes we will continue to heal, but never forget.”
Martinez-Guzman is facing the death penalty in Washoe County. His defense attorneys are seeking to have the Washoe and Douglas cases separated at the Nevada Supreme Court.