Bullet takes Sahugun’s life

Ciara Woods, Staff Writer

On April second students who typically parked along Brady Circle were surprised to find police, news reporters and cation tape blocking the street. The confusion among the students quickly turned to concern when there was speculation of murder. The morning of April 1 Michael Sahagun was found dead at his home on Valley Street, less than a block away from the High School.

At 1 a.m. neighbors called police and reported hearing gunshots and seeing three people fleeing from Sahagun’s garage. The witnesses then described the chaotic scene as people left Sahagun’s property, got into a truck and fled.

“My dad went and talked to the cops at two in the morning, after he heard a gunshot,” Junior Kevin Menker said.

Later, when police arrived they found Sahagun deceased in his detched garage with a gunshot wound to his chest.

“My doorbell woke me up in the middle of the night.  My parents told me it was the cops questioning them about my neighbor Michael,” Senior Jacob Stein said.

On April 2 the three original suspects were found in a room at Motel 6 by Carlsbad Police SWAT officers. The suspects are identified as Gary Gomez, 27; Grant MacGregor Hunter, 23 and Mercedes Tiffany Yorba, 19. They face charges of first-degree murder, robbery and burglary.

The Carlsbad Police Department recieved information on the eleventh leading them to three more suspects: Joseph Verkade, 34; Michael Gault, 30 and Heather Strauch, 32. These three were taken into custody and later tried and found guilty for conspiracy of the murder.

It is believed that the six pre-planned for solely burglary; however, now Verkade stands accused of pulling the trigger that killed Sahagun.

The criminals have records of drug use and probation violations as well. Sahagun is said to have known several of the suspects as acquaintances.

“The news about Michael was surprising and whenever I pass his house it reminds me of what happened,” Menker said.

Many things regarding the murder still remain under investigation; however, law enforcements are doing everything they can to uphold justice. Sahagun’s untimely death is a reminder of just how unexpected and close to home tragedies can be.