Affidavits filed in conjunction with the arrests of two Garden City men charged with first-degree murder last month were recently made public, offering more insight into the night of the incident.
Brothers Sergio Arroyo, 26, and Pedro Arroyo, 25, of Finney County, were arrested in August on counts of first-degree murder in connection with the death of 25-year-old Garden City resident Gerardo “Lalo” Ramirez. Both have since been charged with murder. Sergio Arroyo is also charged with possessing drugs and altering markings on a gun, and Pedro Arroyo is also charged with kidnapping.
Officers reported at the time that they responded to 985 Starlight Drive in Finney County about 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20 after receiving a call about a victim at risk of suicide. At the residence, they found Ramirez deceased with multiple gunshot wounds.
Redacted affidavits filed by the Finney County Sheriff’s Office were made public earlier this month, shedding some light on the details of the case. Some details, such as the address where Ramirez was found, are redacted in the affidavits but were released by the sheriff’s office at the time of Sergio Arroyo’s arrest.
According to the affidavits, Cpl. Eric Rojas arrived at 985 Starlight Drive at 8:37 a.m. Aug. 20 in reference to “a possible suicidal subject who was unresponsive.” Rojas spoke to the man who found Ramirez in the basement bathroom while getting clothing for his grandchildren who live at the residence, then located Ramirez. He was sitting on the floor next to the toilet in the basement bathroom, and he and the floor next to him were stained with dried blood.
A coroner arrived later and pronounced Ramirez dead, estimating he had died 18 to 24 hours earlier. According to the affidavit, an autopsy later revealed injuries from either two or three shots on his head, neck and arm.
When interviewing relevant parties, whose names were redacted, one woman stated that two brothers, “Smiley” and “Grizzly” — later identified as Sergio and Pedro Arroyo, respectively — had shot Ramirez. During the investigation, officers determined the brothers, Ramirez and two other girls, whose names also were redacted, were present at the residence at the time of the shooting.
Officers uncovered two spent 9 mm shell casings from the basement bathroom and a “fired slug” from the wall near the toilet. They also found tequila and beer in the house.
According to the affidavit, one witness told officers she had been smoking methamphetamine with numerous people on Aug. 19 before Ramirez was shot. That day, she and Sergio and Pedro Arroyo left her residence in a blue Dodge Ram to go to the liquor store at East Garden Village. She said they went to several houses before returning to her residence, where Ramirez was later shot.
A witness stated she had loaned her car to Ramirez so he could pick up a girl that morning. Ramirez and the girl eventually arrived at the residence. She said Ramirez attempted to tell her why he was late bringing the car back and she did not want to talk to him.
A witness said she eventually came downstairs to find several people in the bathroom, including Ramirez sitting on the toilet with his pants up, a witness whose name is redacted sitting on the bathtub, and Pedro and Sergio Arroyo standing next to a dresser in the bathroom. She said Sergio Arroyo was holding a black and silver handgun, pointing it at the floor.
She said Sergio Arroyo asked her twice whether Ramirez owed her any money for using her car and she said no. She walked out of the bathroom, the witness sitting on the bathtub following her out, and then they heard two gunshots. Sergio and Pedro Arroyo ran out of the bathroom and then out of the house, the gun still in Sergio’s hand, she said.
Later, an investigator found another spent 9 mm shell in the front yard of the residence.
A male witness told officers that after the shooting, Sergio Arroyo told the witness he had “dealt with someone,” at first indicating that the victim was white. The witness told officers Sergio Arroyo had a black trash bag tied closed that he wanted to get rid of.
Another witness told officers that three weeks ago he had spoken to a man named “BG,” who said that “some guys were going to kill” Ramirez. The witness said he dismissed the statement at the time. The witness said he took groceries to the residence between 10 a.m. and noon Aug. 19 and saw a man who matched Sergio Arroyo’s description. The witness said he did not know Sergio but argued with him briefly.
At the residence, the same witness spoke to Ramirez in the bathroom, telling him people at the house wanted to hurt Ramirez because he owed someone money. Ramirez said he was going to “pay the guy” and thought everything would be fine after that. The witness left Ramirez in the bathroom and said he was in the basement living room when he heard two “pops” and saw Sergio Arroyo exit the bathroom smiling. Sergio looked at the witness and said, “I did it because I love you.” The witness told Sergio he did not know him and that Ramirez “did not deserve that.”
When officers arrested Sergio Arroyo on Aug. 20, they found the bag, which contained a loaded Hi-Point 9 mm handgun wrapped in clothes, as well as a portable cellphone charger with the word “Smiley” written on it, and a meth smoking pipe, among other items. The serial number for the gun had been “obliterated,” according to the affidavit. The gun matched the shell casings found at the crime scene.
Sergio Arroyo told officers that he had been drinking heavily and did not remember anything. He denied having a gun or shooting anyone. He confirmed that his brother’s nickname was “Grizzly.”
When officers arrested Pedro Arroyo on Aug. 22, he admitted to being present at the house on Aug. 19. He said he returned to the house the next day but left when he saw police present.
After returning to the residence from the liquor store with Sergio, Pedro said he went downstairs to speak to Ramirez about the $130 Ramirez reportedly owed him. He said Ramirez agreed to pay him and would get him the money after speaking to his dad, with whom he shared a joint account. Pedro said the witness who had been sitting on the bathtub called Ramirez and then Pedro into the bathroom, where the witness asked Pedro how much money Ramirez owed him.
Pedro did not answer, noting that Ramirez was on the toilet, the witness by the bathtub and he and Sergio by the door. Pedro said he was walking out of the bathroom and was by the stairs when he heard two pops. He said he believed them to be gunshots and ran. He said he left the residence with another witness and picked up the girl Ramirez had brought to the house farther down the street.
According to the affidavit, Pedro eventually told officers Sergio was standing in the bathroom with a handgun pointing down at the ground.
The affidavit ultimately claims that Sergio and Pedro Arroyo “acted together in holding Gerardo Ramirez in the bathroom ... while Sergio held a gun in his hand.” It states Sergio confronted the female witness about whether Ramirez owed her money and then “shot (Ramirez) twice causing his death.”
Sergio Arroyo will sit for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Nov. 21 in courtroom 202 and Pedro Arroyo will sit for a case management hearing at 1 p.m. Oct. 9 in courtroom 202. Both cases are being presided over by District Judge Robert Frederick and prosecuted by Deputy Finney County Attorney William Votypka. Attorney Razmi Tahirkheli is representing Sergio Arroyo and attorney Cheryl Stewart is representing Pedro Arroyo.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.