Arrest Report: Victim confronted suspect about graffiti moments before shooting

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We are now learning more about the arrest of 18-year-old Zyonn Dawson, who has been accused of murdering a man near Charleston Boulevard and Lamb Boulevard earlier this month. The crime happened just before 7 p.m. on January 7.

The victim — Jose Santa-Cruz — was pronounced dead at UMC later that night after the shooting in front of Taqueria Los Catrines. Dawson was later arrested for the crime the following week.

In the arrest report obtained by 8 News Now, it was detailed that police spoke to Santa-Cruz’s father once on the scene. He told police he saw a black man run away from the scene following the gunshots.

Police also found freshly-painted graffiti on the wall of Taqueria Los Catrines. Santa-Cruz’s father told police it had not been there earlier in the day.

On January 8, police accessed video cameras from a nearby apartment complex, which showed the shooting.

In the video, a young male was seen spray painting the side of Taqueria Los Catrines. Santa-Cruz then exits the restaurant and confronts the male, appearing to pepper spray him.

The suspect then began to run away but stopped near the front of the building and fired five shots at Santa-Cruz, hitting him twice. Santa-Cruz collapsed in the doorway and the suspect left the scene.

The suspect was later seen at the apartment complex nearby. He is seen on surveillance footage throwing a can of spray paint into a dumpster, which matched the color of the spray paint on the building. The suspect got into a vehicle at the apartment complex and drove away.

A woman was also spotted at the scene walking with the suspect prior to the shooting. She was also seen on surveillance footage getting into the same vehicle as the suspect.

Police were able to run the license plate of the vehicle, leading them to conduct a traffic stop on January 14. Dawson and Mica Arrojo were taken into custody.

After questioning, Arrojo was not charged.

During an interview with police, Dawson told police he was approached by two males — one on foot and one on a bike — while outside of Taqueria Los Catrines, at which point he believed he was about to be robbed. He told police he was in fear for his life. Through surveillance video, police did confirm a man was passing by on a scooter at the time.

However, during the interview, police did notice drops of paint on Dawson’s shoes that were similar to the paint on the wall at Taqueria Los Catrines. Dawson did not reference the graffiti during his interview.

Dawson has been booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count of “open murder with the use of a deadly weapon.”

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