CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team investigated the story behind a mass shooting that left four people dead and a child critically hurt.
Did anyone see this coming? What can be done to prevent something like this from happening again?
“There were no signs whatsoever,” said Gloria Hernandez, who lost her best friend in the shooting.
Friday evening, Cleveland police say Martin Muniz went on a shooting rampage in a home on Mack Court.
That left four members of his family dead, including a sister. It also left an 8-year-old shot and fighting to survive.
The best friend of the suspect’s sister told the I-Team that no one predicted what happened. She knew of family tension over Muniz needing a job, but nothing pointed to that kind of violence.
“It’s not easy ever confronting a brother, telling a family member, you know, get a job or anything like that,” Hernandez said. “So, I said, ‘Take time with it. Try to be positive with it.’ But, that’s the only situation. There was never any warning signs.”
Cleveland police say after the shooting Muniz went up to officers to surrender.
Police radio traffic shows an officer saying, “He approached our vehicle and said he did something bad,” and, “He said that he killed five people.”
When police got to the scene, an officer reported, “All the people in the house are shot.”
The I-Team did some digging in court records. Muniz was convicted in New Jersey for attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Records showed Muniz was sent to prison for four years.
Those records also show he then violated parole with weapons violations.
The court docket also indicates that Muniz got arrested in New Jersey while suspected of having a loaded gun and drugs in a school zone.
Hernandez told us that Muniz lived in the basement of the home with his sister.
“It’s her brother. She’s forgiving. She wants them to be better,” Hernandez added.
Cleveland police are still investigating.
The I-Team has learned that detectives are also looking into whether Muniz is tied to other unsolved crimes.
The first court complaint filed in this case shows Muniz shot the victims in different rooms of the house, but this only marks the beginning for charges. Expect many more charges once the investigation is finished and the case goes to a grand jury.
We asked Councilmen Joe Jones and Michael Polensek what can be done. First, they reacted to what happened.
“It’s like a piece of your soul has been taken,” Councilman Jones said.
“You know, a senseless loss of life,” Councilman Polensek said.
Polensek also called for more help to be available for people who need it.
“There are growing mental health issues in our community. We have to figure how to put through initiatives and programs to identify those individuals who are under mental stress,” Polensek said.
Jones called for more work nationally and locally to keep guns out of the hands of convicts.
“There’s so many guns on the streets. You can get them for pennies and nickels now. I mean, you can get high-powered guns,” Jones said.
As investigators build their case, Hernandez looks back. She wonders how her best friend ended up murdered in a mass shooting with a loved one locked up.
“She just celebrated his birthday with him. He celebrated her birthday with her. There were no signs whatsoever,” Hernandez said.
Muniz goes to Cleveland Municipal Court to begin facing charges in this case Tuesday morning. That, generally, is a quick hearing giving a judge a chance to set bond.
Although, after this, Muniz is unlikely to be able to get out of jail.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral and medical expenses.