AP NEWS

Man suspected of fatal shooting said he was man from ‘Joker’

November 15, 2019

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A man suspected in a fatal shooting last month was dressed as the Joker from the recently released movie and identified himself as the main character Arthur Fleck, Nevada authorities said.

Juan Hernandez, 25, was arrested on murder charges Oct. 27 in the death of Luis Torres-Mederos during an annual Halloween Zombie Crawl in downtown Reno, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported Thursday.

Authorities do not know the motive and do not know if Hernandez was inspired by the movie, Reno police officers said.

Video surveillance depicts Hernandez fumbling with a gun in a crowd before turning and shooting Torres-Mederos, 22, twice in the head, Deputy District Attorney Michael Bolenbaker said.

Hernandez was intoxicated when he was taken into custody, authorities said. Police are waiting for a toxicology report to determine if there were drugs in his system.

Public defender Katheryn Hickman said at a bail hearing last week that family and friends described the shooting as out of character for Hernandez.

“Everybody is extremely surprised,” Hickman said. Hernandez was a “scientist at a local hospital” and was a stand-up citizen who “paid his bills on time.”

The Fleck character in the “Joker” was played by Joaquin Phoenix and tailspins down a violent path. The movie drew criticism before it ever opened.

Hernandez is being held in Washoe County Jail on charges of open murder and battery with use of a deadly weapon. His bail is set at $500,000 cash.

___

Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com