GREENWOOD, Ind. — Five days after 52-year-old Timothy A. Sannito was found shot to death in a Greenwood strip mall parking lot, his accused killer Marco Antonio Gonzalez sat in the back of a squad car on his way to jail.
Gonzalez had just been questioned by the police but had reportedly said little.
Were you threatened, he was asked. Were you afraid of something?
“Not really,” he reportedly answered.
On his way to jail, while sitting in the back of the police car, documents detail that Gonzalez asked the police sergeant if he had ever killed someone before.
The sergeant told Gonzalez that he’d served in the Marines. That he’d been involved in a police-action shooting.
“I should have joined the military,” Gonzalez reportedly said. “At least then I could have murdered someone and gotten away with it.”
On March 8, at around 9:20 p.m., Greenwood police officers were called to a strip mall in the 900 block of E. County Line Road. Sannito was found laying next to his Honda CRV with bullet wounds in his face and shoulder.
His vehicle was running and the driver’s side door was open. The passenger side window was busted out.
Sannito was pronounced dead by a deputy coroner at 9:56 p.m.
Court documents detail that police were eventually led to Gonzalez, 25, of Greenwood thanks to witness reports and security footage. Both pointed to a suspect vehicle being a black SUV — a Nissan Murano — that had been parked next to Sannito’s CRV in the strip mall’s parking lot.
Security footage reportedly shows Sannito leave the Ale Emporium restaurant at 9:18 p.m. and walk to the parking lot where he climbed into his CRV. He starts up the vehicle, brake lights illuminating at 9:19 p.m.
Police said that after the CRV is started, movement can be seen inside the black Nissan Murano parked next to Sannito. Gunshots are reportedly fired from the Nissan into the CRV and then the SUV drives away, only 20 seconds after the CRV’s brake lights came on.
Johnson County Prosecutor Lance Hamner said that authorities believe the shooting was a random act of violence.
Police said Sannito fell out of his SUV after being shot, the door left open as he collapsed onto the pavement.
On March 9, at approximately 10:20 p.m., a Greenwood officer who knew the details of the Sannito murder investigation spotted a black Nissan Murano traveling eastbound on Apryl Drive in Greenwood. The officer noted the driver, later identified as Gonzalez, seemed nervous and visibly shaking after he pulled him over.
Gonzalez told the officer he had a gun in his vehicle. He reportedly told the officer it was a 9mm handgun. The officer knew it was the same type of gun used in the killing of Sannito. According to the documents, the officer retrieved the gun and unloaded it. He noticed it was loaded with brass rounds with a “unique red polymer tip” — the same brand, color and caliber as fired cartridges recovered from the crime scene.
According to the court documents, at one point during the interaction, the nervous Gonzalez told officers “I did shoot out of my window at a red vehicle… I think it was a cop car… it didn’t stop though.”
Police took Gonzalez to a police station where officers showed him footage of a black Murano captured by Flock safety cameras near the scene of the deadly strip mall shooting. Gonzalez reportedly acknowledge the vehicle to be his own and that he was in the area during that time.
On March 13, police arrested Gonzalez. When asked how he felt about being charged with murder, Gonzalez reportedly said “maybe it’s not murder” and suggested that “maybe it doesn’t stick.”
He reportedly went on to say that his family told him that maybe he would just be charged with manslaughter because “it wasn’t premeditated and I didn’t know the guy.”
But when police asked if Gonzalez thought he was in danger or felt afraid, he reportedly answered “not really.”
The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office said that Gonzalez is being held in the Johnson County Jail on a 72-hour hold. They plan to file official charges in the murder of Timothy A. Sannito on Monday.