Wednesday July 15th, 2020 1:37AM

Gwinnett police say road rage claim was a lie, 'victims' were attempting a robbery

By B.J. Williams Assistant News Director

Three men who claimed they and two others, who suffered gunshot wounds, were victims of a road rage incident on I-85 near Lilburn Tuesday night made up the story, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department. 

Gwinnett Police Sgt. Jake Smith said in a press release the men actually were involved in an armed robbery attempt and fabricated the story to cover up the crime. 

 "The five passengers of the 'victim' vehicle, a gray Nissan Altima, attempted to rob an unknown subject in the parking lot of 950 Indian Trail Road," Smith said. "The person(s) they were attempting to rob shot at the Nissan Altima, which fled the scene."

Smith said one of the men who was shot, 16-year-old Junior Lanuza-Gutierrez, died from his injuries. The other man who was shot, 20-year-old Erik Vargas, remained hospitalized at last report.

"The three occupants of the Nissan Altima who were not shot have been charged with felony murder and criminal attempt at robbery," Smith said. 

The suspects are identified as:

  • Harry Richardson, 20
  • Anthoney Esquero, 18
  • Kevin Gallardo, 17 

All three are being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

The deadly incident happened around 10:30 p.m., according to initial police reports. 

Smith said detectives are still trying to locate the shooter or shooters.  


  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: shooting crime, I-85, armed robbery, road rage, Gwinnett County Police Department , Lilburn Police Department
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