Local man murdered: Shot by roommates in Levelland

April 11, 2018

By Kati Moody

Levelland &
Hockley County News-Press

A shooting that occurred Sunday in the 100 block of Hickory Street in Levelland has left one person dead and two behind bars.

Police responded to the scene at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday. They found Matthew Ryan Sanchez, 27, of Brownfield lying in the street with gunshot wounds, according to reports.

Sanchez was taken to a Lubbock hospital where he was listed in critical condition Monday morning. That afternoon, police confirmed Sanchez had passed away from injuries sustained in the shooting.

Matthew Paul Cruz, 20, and Canyon Brent Faull, 19, both of Levelland, were arrested and initially charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Both Cruz and Faull are being held on combined bonds of $505,000 each at the Hockley County Jail.

According to probable cause arrest affidavits, the initial call that came into the police department was in reference to a shooting and a man laying in the roadway in front of the residence with gunshot wounds.

Faull and Cruz were detained upon officers’ arrival, according to reports.

Sanchez was shot as he entered the residence and was shot an unknown number of times as he fled the residence, towards the east, according to affidavits.

Detectives interviewed Cruz for several hours. Cruz told detectives the shotgun, which is believed to have been used in the commission of the assault, was removed from his room.

He told the detective he had loaded the shotgun on Friday due to thefts at their residence, according to the affidavit.

The detective then learned that Cruz had a previous conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Cruz was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm as a result of admitting to the detective he was in possession of the firearm and had even loaded the firearm, the report says.

However, the charge is pending with the Hockley County District Attorney’s office because, though Cruz pleaded guilty to the previous charge, he received deferred adjudication.

Faull was additionally charged with tampering or fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair.

According to the arrest affidavit, Faull told detectives he hid the weapon used in the shooting under the mattress in his room.

Later, officers executed a search warrant at the residence and recovered the 12-gauge shotgun. Detectives do not believe another weapon or an additional weapon was involved in the shooting.

As a result of search warrants executed at the residence, detectives also recovered spent shell casings, shotgun pellets and DNA, investigators said.

All three of the men shared the residence where the shooting occurred, according to police.

Captain Tammie McDonald of the CID unit at the Levelland Police Department said the investigation is active and ongoing.

“This will be an active case for a while,” Captain McDonald said. “These things take longer than other cases, they’re more intense. You have to turn over every stone and check every witness lead.”

A motive for the shooting is still unknown.

McDonald said that the Forensic Institute at Texas Tech University was conducting an autopsy Tuesday morning. She said that autopsy could take six to eight hours.

The preliminary results from the autopsy were not available at press time, Tuesday.

The Levelland Police Department is working in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office for the 286th Judicial District of Hockley and Cochran counties and in conjunction with the Texas Rangers.

Faull is from Eldorado, Texas; Sanchez is from Brownfield and was an employee of McWhorters in Levelland.

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Category: Updates