Yvonne Raquel Ramirez, 19, of Baytown, is facing murder charges after she allegedly gunned down Joshua McKinney at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday in Harris County. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Ramirez, who recently met the aspiring Marine and started spending time with him, concocted a plan to rob him of his firearms, KTRK reports.
Ramirez allegedly demanded $2,000 from McKinney in exchange for the return of his guns during the encounter, which quickly turned violent, a witness told detectives, according to the station.
McKinney put Ramirez in a neck hold and put a gun to her head, according to the witness account. At that point the witness called police, just moments before gunshots were heard in the 100 block of Mizell Street.
McKinney was found dead in the street, while Ramirez had been shot in the shoulder. She initially told responding deputies that McKinney was shot when the gun dropped and fired, but she later told investigators that she grabbed his gun and fired it in self-defense, KTRK reports.
Another witness reported seeing Ramirez trying to move McKinney’s body after the fatal shooting. She also stole his wallet, prosecutors allege.
Ramirez remained held on $50,000 bail in the Harris County Jail as of early Wednesday, jail records show. She was expected to appear in court later Wednesday.
Yvonne Raquel RamirezHarris County Sheriff’s Office
Ramirez, according to charging documents obtained by KHOU, told investigators she was getting high with McKinney when he accused her of stealing his guns. She denied the accusation, leading to a confrontation during which Ramirez said she took a gun that McKinney had tucked in his back and shot him.
Investigators later found text messages on Ramirez’s phone describing how she stole McKinney’s weapons, KHOU reports.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether anyone else was involved in the alleged murder, according to the Houston Chronicle.
A former instructor at the Texas Challenge Academy, a military institution operated by the Texas National Guard, said McKinney was a “standout cadet” who wanted to join the Marines.
“Josh was an amazing young man,” Regina Willis told the Daily Beast. “This death doesn’t seem real.”
Ramirez, meanwhile, said her life was seemingly coming together just one day ahead of the alleged murder.
“Everything falling in place, i start my job monday, getting my car soon & then my apt,” she wrote on Facebook. “Couldn’t be more blessed Thank you God.”