Teen murdered couple in hotel room after they returned from drug deal, affidavit says

Kristian Ray Belmudez, 19, arrested on capital murder charges

SAN ANTONIO – A couple was shot and killed in a Northeast Side hotel room earlier this year after returning from a drug deal at a QT gas station, according to an affidavit.

San Antonio police arrested the teen accused in their murders on Friday.

Kristian Ray Belmudez, 19, was arrested just after 3 p.m. Friday on capital murder charges, SAPD said.

Belmudez’s charges stem from an incident on Jan. 16, when a housekeeper at the Travelodge By Wyndham in the 3800 block of Interstate 35 North found two 19-year-olds fatally shot in a hotel room.

The victims were identified as Gabriel A. Sanchez, 19, and Sanaa Keilani McNeil, 19. The couple was dating at the time of their deaths, police said.

According to the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office, Sanchez and McNeil died from multiple gunshot wounds.

During the investigation, investigators obtained video surveillance from the hotel. The footage showed Sanchez walking out the back door of the hotel. When he returned, he was accompanied by an unknown, heavy-set man in a white Nike coat.

Sanchez, McNeil and the unknown man, later identified as Belmudez, exited the hotel room and returned multiple times throughout the night, according to SAPD.

At 3:39 a.m., Belmudez was seen on video leaving the hotel room and running toward a stairwell, an affidavit said. He was reportedly carrying a handgun in each hand and a backpack, police said.

Belmudez put the weapons in his coat pockets and ran out of the hotel’s back door, SAPD said.

McNeil and Sanchez “were not seen or heard from again until they were found deceased,” the affidavit said.

Investigators said a witness came forward and claimed he met Sanchez at a QT gas station to buy narcotics earlier that night. Sanchez came to the gas station with McNeil and another man who was in the rear passenger-side seat, police said.

The witness described the man with the couple to police and authorities obtained video footage from the gas station.

SAPD’s Homicide Unit and US Marshals Service later issued a public alert for Belmudez, asking for help in locating him prior to his arrest.

The public was advised that Belmudez was considered “armed and dangerous.”

Eventually, police received information that helped identify the unknown man with Sanchez and McNeil as Belmudez.

According to Bexar County court records, Belmudez is charged with two counts of capital murder - multiple person. His bond is set at $1 million for both charges combined.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.