Murder suspect, woman in truck with victim texted before shooting, Phoenix police say

A man was charged with first-degree murder related to a fatal shooting in north Phoenix on Sunday morning, according to the Phoenix Police Department. Court records indicated the event could have been planned.

Eric Dewayne Norwood, 41, was arrested in the murder of 39-year-old Ricardo Villalobos.

Around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police responded to a shooting near North 27th and West Morten avenues. When they arrived, they found Villalobos suffering from a critical gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Phoenix Fire Department.

Police learned from witnesses that a man and woman were seen running from the scene and began to search the area. According to police, officers quickly spotted two people who matched the description given to them by witnesses and detained them.

Detectives responded to the scene and later booked Norwood for first-degree murder and counts of armed robbery.

Maricopa County court records indicate the event was planned, as Norwood and the woman texted one another about their locations just minutes before police were called.

'I got one': Suspect asked if car door was unlocked before victim's death

According to court records, the woman accused of running from the scene with Norwood is his ex-girlfriend. She and Norwood exchanged messages about their locations just before Villalobos' death, court records show.

When police arrived, Villalobos was lying in the front yard of a residence with a gunshot wound to his head. Police later found one single bullet casing in the street nearly two houses east of where Villalobos was found.

Court records stated, that after multiple witnesses heard gunshots they also heard the sound of a car crash. They left their houses to see what happened and saw that Villalobos' car had crashed into several others parked in the front yard where police later found him.

One of the witnesses described seeing a man running east on Morton Avenue towards the Interstate 17 access road with a gun in his hand, court records show. They also described seeing a woman running with the man. Other witnesses had the same descriptions of the suspects, including details about the man's height and hair.

Police circulated the area and found Norwood and the woman near 24th and Northern avenues, court records show. They initially fled from police when they first attempted to contact them, but were detained.

Police found a 9mm handgun on Norwood, as well as a holster with blood trailing the path he had fled from police, according to court records. They also observed blood on Norwood's hands and on the woman's legs, court records showed.

One of the witnesses who saw the two run from the area positively identified both Norwood and the woman to be the people they saw running from the area, court records show.

Norwood told police that the woman did not have any knowledge about the incident, according to court records. He did not make any other statements during his interview with police.

The woman told police that Norwood was an ex-boyfriend, according to court records. The records go on to state that on that night, just before the incident, the two were in contact.

According to court records, Villalobos and the woman were sitting inside his truck. She told police he was wearing a condom and his penis was exposed. Then, an unknown subject opened the driver's door and said, "I want everything," she told police, according to court records.

She told police that she then left the car and heard a gunshot. She ran from the scene and told police that Norwood appeared, court records show.

However, the conversations that the two had before the incident suggest that Norwood could have been the person who opened the car door, according to a review of their cell phone records obtained through a police search warrant.

At 12:18 a.m., the woman texted Norwood, "I got one." She texted again eight minutes later that she and Villalobos were at a specific location.

Norwood texted her back, "I see you." At 12:27 a.m., Norwood asked if the door was unlocked.

Three minutes later, police were called to respond to the area for the shooting.

Phoenix Police said the investigation was still ongoing and no other arrests were made as of Monday afternoon.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Murder suspect, woman in truck with victim texted before shooting, Phoenix police say