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Man arrested for deadly Christmas drive-by

Posted at 4:12 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-27 07:11:31-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fort Myers Police arrested one man Sunday in connection to a drive-by shooting that killed a 21-year-old.

At around 2:30 A.M. Christmas morning, police responded to a house on Nottingham Drive, where the victim, 21-year-old Juan Gabriel Maldonado-Sepulveda, was found suffering from a gunshot wound. He died at the scene. 

His family was shaken. One family member was surprised to hear of the act so close to home. "We were very surprised," he said. "Nothing like this has ever happened on this street."

The victim's cousin said she heard shots. "We heard shots and stuff, that was around 12, 12:30ish," she said.

Fireworks were going off at the time, but several neighbors confirmed distinctly hearing gunshots as well. 

Officers and investigators got to work quickly, canvassing the neighborhood and identifying 23-year-old Raul Muniz as the drive-by shooter. Around 10:30 A.M., Muniz was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Task Force and members of the Lee County Sheriff's office. He was at his home.

Muniz is now facing several charges, including second degree murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Fort Myers Police Department officials call this shooting senseless. 

"Our investigators did a phenomenal job in quickly identifying Muniz as the person responsible for this senseless act of violence on Christmas morning.   Our partners at the US Marshals Office and the Lee County Sheriffs Office played a vital role in assisting FMPD with removing this violent offender off our streets and keeping our community safe."-Lt. Jay Rodriguez, Fort Myers Police Department.