Police have arrested a suspect in the May 4 murder of Sophie Arrieta Vasquez, a trans woman whose death caused a public outcry for justice.
Pedro Silva-Renteria, an 18-year-old from Norcross, was arrested on Aug. 5 near Grand Prairie, TX, according to a Brookhaven Police Department press release. BPD spokesperson Lt. David Snively said police believe Silva-Renteria was trying to flee the country.
Police initially charged Silva-Renteria with Vasquez’s murder on May 11. On May 4, police responded to reports of a shooting at Atlantic Brookhaven Apartments at 100 Windmont Drive. Vasquez was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds in the doorway of her apartment, and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
On May 12, community organizers held a vigil calling for justice for Vasquez and other trans women who have faced violence. Snively previously stated that investigators did not believe Vasquez’s gender was the motive for the crime, and said investigators are still working to determine what exactly led to the murder.
Police say Silva-Renteria will be held in Texas, pending extradition proceedings to return him to Georgia. He will then be taken to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Jail.
Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst issued a statement on the arrest.
“It is gratifying to know that the tireless efforts of Brookhaven Police and the US Marshals Service everywhere caught the suspect in the heinous and senseless murder of Sophie Vasquez in May,” he said in an emailed statement. “While we all must be patient as the wheels of justice turn, I hope that the progress made in this case brings a little relief for the friends and extended family of Sophie Vasquez.”
This investigation is still ongoing, and police have asked anyone with information to call Brookhaven Police at 404-637-0600, or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.
Update: This story has been updated with comments from Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst.