SIOUX CITY | With a suspect in custody and charged with fatally shooting two people, police and prosecutors now begin the long process of accumulating evidence that they hope will lead to a conviction.
Juan Nino-Estrada, 26, faces two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the shooting, in which a third person was wounded, late Thursday at a house in the 500 block of West 27th Street.
If found guilty as charged, Nino-Estrada would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Sitting barefoot in a wheelchair because of a gunshot wound, Nino-Estrada, of Sioux City, did not speak other than to say yes or no when he made his initial court appearance Friday morning in Woodbury County District Court. Associate Judge Todd Hensley set Nino-Estrada's bond at $2 million and appointed the public defender's office to represent him.
A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 18.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young said a physical altercation between Nino-Estrada and another man escalated into the shooting.
According to court documents, Nino-Estrada was carrying a 9 mm pistol when he entered the house about 11:50 p.m. Thursday and exchanged words with one of the occupants, Luis Sanchez, before shooting him. Nino-Estrada also shot a man and a woman.
Young said officers responding to a 911 call made about 11:59 p.m. found a woman dead in the house. Sanchez and the second man with gunshot injuries were transported to Mercy Medical Center, where the other man later died. Sanchez, who also had a knife wound, is expected to survive, Young said. Hospital officials Friday evening would not release any information about Sanchez's condition and would not confirm whether he was a patient there.
Police were still trying to positively identify the victims and contact their families, Young said.
Young said the two people shot to death knew Nino-Estrada and that drugs are believed to have been a factor in the shooting. Young would not elaborate. He also said there were several people at the home where the shooting took place who identified Nino-Estrada as the shooter. Two children also were in the house.
Nino-Estrada fled the scene after the shooting, according to court documents, and Young said he was arrested several hours later at his girlfriend's northside home. Nino-Estrada had a gunshot wound to his right leg, but police do not know who shot him.
Young said the gun believed to have been used in the fatal shootings was recovered.
The two deaths bring the total number of Sioux City homicides this year to three. The previous one was Oct. 27, when Adrian Rojas-Hernandez was killed in a West 15th Street house, police said. Two people have been charged in that case.
Two murders were reported in the city in 2011 and 2012, according to police statistics.
Staff writers Bret Hayworth and Nate Robson contributed to this report.