A Salem man was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting his coworker in September 2021.
Jonathan Alexis Gonzales-Salcido, 25, was sentenced to life in prison for murder in the second degree for shooting Ryan Ray Muniz, 31, of Keizer.
Gonzales-Salcido will have to serve at least 25 years before he can petition for parole. If released, he will have a lifetime of post-prison supervision, according to Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton.
On Wednesday, a jury found Gonzales-Salcido guilty of murder in the second degree, unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangerment, according to court records.
He also received sentences for unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangerment that will be served concurrently with his prison sentence. He was acquitted on another charge of reckless endangerment, according to court records.
Five of the victim’s family members spoke in court, according to Felton. When asked if he wanted to make a statement in court, Gonzales-Salcido chose not to speak.
September 2021 fatal shooting
Polk County deputies got a call at 11:34 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2021, about a tree falling on a man in the 3400 block of Belvedere, according to the probable cause statement. However, deputies were told two minutes later Muniz had been shot.
Deputies arrived at the corner of 34th Avenue NW and Belvedere Street NW near Eola Heights County Park and found Muniz with three gunshot wounds in the abdomen. He died from his injuries.
Additional witnesses called to report they saw a man running through a field toward Hidden Valley Drive NW after hearing at least one shot. The man, who was described wearing a red-orange sweatshirt and had facial tattoos, was seen in a wooded area between Belvedere and Hidden Valley.
A short time later, deputies arrested Gonzales-Salcido after finding him on a street near the shooting pushing a lawnmower in a front lawn.
Deputies learned both men were employees of R&R Tree Service, a company that provides arbor service and maintenance in Salem. They, along with two additional workers, were trimming trees at a residence in the 3400 block of Belvedere at the time of the shooting.
The two employees were interviewed, and both said they did not see any disagreements between Gonzales-Salcido and Muniz before the shooting. Deputies said they later found a 9mm handgun along the path Gonzales-Salcido would have taken when he allegedly fled from the scene.
“I’m extremely gratified by the jury’s decision. The life sentence imposed on the killer of Mr. Muniz brings justice to the victims and the community,” said Felton. “However, I recognize that no sentence will ever truly heal the loss suffered by the family of Mr. Muniz, and that is the ultimate tragedy.”