Shots were fired after a fight broke out in a parking lot on E. 7th Street in Austin, right across the street from the ARCH homeless shelter downtown. Dionysius Thompson was killed, and Josh Noriega was left paralyzed.
The suspect is Nathan Nevah Ramirez, charged with murder and aggravated assault.
Ramirez fled the scene but was later identified by another individual involved in the scuffle and HALO surveillance cameras as having been present when shots were fired. Ramirez allegedly shot both Thompson and Noriega.
Police arrested him an hour later that day at his apartment, where he was found with a loaded Glock 22, 2.5 ounces of marijuana, 44 grams of cocaine, about $8,000 cash, and a box of .40 caliber bullets. Ramirez was charged with another unlawful carrying of a firearm count along with possession of a controlled substance.
He has since been charged with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony aggravated assault.
On August 8, before he was arrested for the shooting-related charges, Ramirez was released on personal bond for the charges of unlawful carrying of a weapon and felony possession of a controlled substance from two nights before.
Two days later, Austin Police Department (APD) ballistics analysis positively identified Ramirez’s pistol had fired the rounds. U.S. Marshalls arrested him later that day.
Ramirez had been out of jail in Travis County since he was granted personal bond on May 27, 2022 for the June 2021 charge of unlawful possession of a firearm. Ramirez had been on the lam since the incident last year until he was arrested on May 26, 2022.
Austin Municipal Court Associate Judge Stephen Vigorito granted the bail on the condition that Ramirez not possess any firearms or engage in criminal activity. His pretrial for that charge is set for August 26.
During the bond proceeding, he was given “indigent” status, a metric by which the Austin municipal court prioritizes personal and low cash bonds to poor offenders.
While judges set bond, the Austin City Council passed a policy directing the municipal court to prioritize reduced bond for indigent defendants in 2017 and fired judges who disagreed.
Additionally, after winning office in 2020, Travis County District Attorney José Garza released relaxed bail and sentencing guidelines that his office would recommend to the bench in criminal proceedings.
Among those items is the emphasis placed on a presumption of release with “least restrictive conditions necessary” for higher-level felonies.
On June 10, 2022, Ramirez was arrested in Hays County on three charges — another unlawful possession of a firearm count along with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance — and he was released on personal bond for each.
The reason Ramirez, aged 18, is prohibited from possessing a firearm is a June 2021 incident in which he and his brother Christopher, “a documented gang member with numerous offenses including aggravated assault and aggravated robbery,” exchanged fire with an unidentified vehicle in a parking lot at 4213 Todd Lane.
The vehicle returned a few minutes later which restarted a shooting exchange. Two women among the Ramirez brothers’ group were struck and injured. The Ramirezes were seen on video firing at the vehicle, leading to a deadly conduct charge for the elder brother and an unlawful possession of a firearm for the younger.
Ramirez is currently being held on a $1 million bond in the Travis County jail.
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Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.