Phoenix Police solve drive-by murder from August; arrests made in Phoenix and Los Angeles

Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 14:55:41-05

A murder suspect from an August drive-by shooting has been located and arrested in California.

Police report that on the evening of August 17, a man, later identified as 30-year-old Ricardo Adolfo Miranda, shot and killed 45-year-old Stephen Michael Martis as he was walking down the street near 53rd Avenue and McDowell Road.

Police say Martis was walking north on 53rd Avenue on the way to a friend's home when Miranda allegedly drove by in his dark-colored truck and fired several shots, striking Martis.

Witnesses at the time told ABC15 that Martis ran and tried to use an SUV to shield himself from the bullets, but he was already hit. Police were able to get a description of the truck from home surveillance video. They also found a shell casing from a .45-caliber handgun.

A Silent Witness tip came in nine days later where police learned that Miranda was involved in the shooting. The witness reported that Miranda and Martis passed each other earlier that evening and while they didn’t speak, they exchanged threatening glances. Miranda would later reportedly tell someone, "I need to take care of him and he is not going to have the last say or the last word."

He then got into his truck; a short time later family members heard gunshots.

Police also learned that a few days after the shooting, Miranda's cousin Tania drove him and his family to Los Angeles International Airport where Miranda and his family flew to Seattle. They reportedly stayed there for a short time before moving to Commerce, an area outside of Los Angeles. Tania then delivered his truck and other evidence to him.

On Jan. 31, 2017, police served simultaneous search warrants in California and Phoenix where they arrested Tania and Miranda. Inside the truck, police reportedly found a .45-caliber handgun, and while at Tania's home, they found the passenger-side mirror with a bullet hole in it.

Miranda is currently in a Los Angeles County jail awaiting extradition to Arizona where prosecutors will ask for him to be held on a $1 million bond.

Tania has been charged with hindering prosecution for her role in transporting Miranda and hiding evidence.