WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- New search warrants were released that reveal what happened in the moments leading up to the murder of Wake County deputy Ned Byrd.
The documents, which were first obtained and reported by our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer, say Byrd was heading toward the Wake County Law Enforcement Training Center for K9 training when he spotted a suspicious pickup on the side of Battle Bridge Road on August 11.
Byrd drove past the truck around 11 p.m. but then stopped, backed up and got out of his patrol vehicle. According to the search warrants, 13 seconds after Byrd got out of his patrol vehicle, three gunshots rang out. After a brief pause, three more shots were fired.
About 90 seconds later, the suspicious pickup truck that caused Byrd to stop drives away from the scene.
A few hours later, Wake County Sheriff's Office sent deputies to check on Byrd. That's when they found him dead next to his car with multiple gunshot wounds, including a shot to the back of his head, according to the search warrants.
After being arrested, Arturo Marin-Sotelo told investigators that he and his brother were "hunting for deer." He said he was out in the field with an AK-47 while his brother, Alder Marin-Sotelo, was in the pickup.
"While Arturo Marin was in the field, he observed a police vehicle park and activate his blue lights where Alder Marin parked his Chevrolet Colorado," the search warrant said. "Arturo Marin then heard gunshots followed by the Chevrolet Colorado driving away. Arturo Marin then called and Alder Marin stated that a police officer had just been shot.
Arturo was later picked up by Alder in a different vehicle near the Neuse River near Auburn Knightdale Road, according to the search warrants.
Byrd's uncle, Walter Penney, reacted to the new details late Thursday afternoon.
"I'm actually a little bummed, a little taken aback by it right now," Penney said.
Tracking the suspects
To try and figure out who was responsible for Byrd's death, investigators used cellphone tower data to link two suspects to the crime scene at the time the shooting took place.
A review of 30 days of historical record associated with two phones showed Alder Marin-Sotelo, 25, and Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29, communicated twice in July and more than 40 times on Aug. 11 and 12, the day that Byrd was found dead.
During the few days before they were taken into custody on Aug. 16 in Burke County, investigators tracked the men's cellphone activity until it stopped at one point. But surveillance indicated they were still using phones, according to the search warrants.
Despite trying to elude authorities using a total of nine cellphones and four cars, the men were found and officials found items such as guns, ammunition and a clear bag of white powder in the cars they were using.
If convicted they could face the death penalty or life in prison. Both have pleaded not guilty in the case.
"I feel very confident that things move forward in a positive way and they're doing their due diligence to bring these two to justice," Penney said.