29-year-old man arrested in Iowa in connection to fatal shooting of couple in Long Beach: Police

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Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna announces to members of the press that an arrest was made in connection to a shooting last month that left two people dead. Luna is pictured here on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna announces to members of the press that an arrest was made in connection to a shooting last month that left two people dead. Luna is pictured here on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

A 29-year-old man was arrested in Iowa this week in connection to the fatal shooting of a couple near their Long Beach home earlier this month, officials announced Saturday.

Long Beach homicide detectives, working in collaboration with U.S. Marshals in Iowa, arrested Joshua Wells, of Long Beach, on Thursday, near a relative’s home in Windsor Heights, Iowa, officials said.

Wells was booked on suspicion of killing 44-year-old Maricela Honorato and 39-year-old Juan Guizar-Gutierrez, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said during a press briefing Saturday.

Guizar-Gutierrez and Honorato were shot near their home in the 900 block of Park Circle Drive on the night of Sept. 4, Long Beach police officials said.

That evening, police had received a call of a fight in progress at the location and arrived to find Guizar-Gutierrez down on the sidewalk and Honorato down in the street, police said. Both were found suffering from gunshot wounds to the upper body.

Guizar-Gutierrez died on the sidewalk, while Honorato later died at a hospital, police said.

On Thursday, nearly two weeks after the shootings, police tracked Wells down in Iowa near a family member’s residence, officials said. He is expected to be extradited back to Long Beach to face prosecution and is currently being held on $6,065,000 bail, police said.

Prior to the arrest, homicide detectives had presented their case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, which granted the police an arrest warrant for two counts of murder. 

Search warrants were also sent out to two locations, one of them being in Long Beach and the other in Iowa.

Police said the search warrants led detectives to evidence that linked the suspect to the crimes.

“While a lot of information is unknown at this time, detectives believe the motive for the shooting may be related to an earlier altercation that occurred in this area,” Luna said. “The altercations are still being investigated.”

Detectives do not believe Wells and the victims knew each other before the deadly incident. 

“While there is no evidence that this crime stemmed from a potential road rage incident, detectives will not rule out the possibility,” the Police Department stated in a news release.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact Homicide Detectives Ethan Shear, Jose Rodriguez or Michael Hutchinson at 562-570-7244. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.

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