A pair of New Balance sneakers led investigators to a suspect in the murder of man who died after he was shot in the face.
A U.S. Marshals task force took Luis Alfredo Carranza-Andrade, a 20-year-old alleged gang member from Washington D.C., into custody in Nebraska on Sept. 1.
Authorities accuse Carranza-Andrade of fatally wounding construction worker Javier Chaj-Ajtun, 33, across the country in Trenton, New Jersey on Aug. 13, NJ.com reported.
Surveillance video from that evening allegedly shows a gunman approach Chaj-Ajtun’s van, speak with him and then shoot at him four times as he possibly attempted to drive away in what investigators believe may have been a robbery attempt, the outlet reported, citing a criminal complaint.
According to police, the footage allegedly shows a man in the area before and after the deadly encounter wearing a gray t-shirt and dark-colored New Balance sneakers, which match witness descriptions of what the shooter was wearing.
Detectives got a break in the case days later when Trenton officer Domingo Perez recalled stopping Carranza-Andrade the evening of the murder after police broadcast descriptions of a possible shooter.
Perez didn’t have probable cause to detain Carranza-Andrade, but he took down his name — Luis Carranza — and snapped a photo, according to the complaint.
On July 16, Perez recalled, he had also encountered the same man, who gave his name as Justin Andrade. Bodycam footage allegedly showed the man wearing a pair of dark New Balance sneakers similar to those the shooter was wearing in the surveillance video footage, the complaint states.
On Aug. 20, authorities filed murder and related weapons charges against Carranza-Andrade.
Twelve days later, a U.S. Marshals task force arrested him without incident in a residence in Nebraska. According to the Mercer County prosecutor’s office, he was wearing dark New Balance sneakers at the time.
Officials declined to reveal to NJ.com exactly how they tracked down Carranza-Andrade to the Midwestern state, where he was working construction. Authorities reportedly also do not know why he may have been in Trenton, New Jersey.