Arrest made in fatal NYE apartment complex shooting
by Leo Hohmann
January 10, 2014 11:45 PM | 4964 views | 5 5 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police found Manju Gurung Poonmager, 37, dead in her vehicle in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, the victim of an apparent homicide at the Westminster Square Apartment community on Wendy Hill Road. (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
Police found Manju Gurung Poonmager, 37, dead in her vehicle in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, the victim of an apparent homicide at the Westminster Square Apartment community on Wendy Hill Road. (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
slideshow
Sergio Vera-Lule
Sergio Vera-Lule
slideshow
MARIETTA — Cobb Police have made an arrest in the Dec. 31 killing of a Marietta woman in a case that stunned and frightened residents of a local apartment complex because it appeared as though the shooting could have been a random act.

The fatal shooting of Manju Gurung Poonmager, 37, occurred at about 1:20 a.m. at Westminster Square Apartments at 2401 Windy Hill Road off Cobb Parkway.

Poonmagar, 37, was driving home from work at a local convenience store when she entered the gated apartment complex and was shot to death while still behind the wheel of her car. She was found dead by police slumped over in her car, after a resident of the complex heard her vehicle crash into a parked car and called 911.

Police arrested and charged 26-year-old Sergio Vera-Lule of Smyrna on Thursday. He is being held at the Cobb County jail without bond, and is charged with murder and aggravated assault.

Police also charged Vera-Lule with three counts of armed robbery in connection to robberies reported at the Molina’s Check Cashing on Dec. 28, Concorde Superette on Dec. 29 and Western Union on Jan. 8, all of which are in Marietta.

Vera-Lule knew Poonmagar, police have confirmed, and the shooting was not random.

“Yes, he did know her,” responded Sgt. Dana Pierce of Cobb Police when asked about the relationship between the victim and the suspect. “It was a whodunit until yesterday (Thursday) morning. It all came together. This was not just a random act of violence. You don’t have people riding by shooting people in the head. It clears up those robberies and solves that homicide, putting those people at ease out there in that community.

“This guy’s nothing but a street thug and he took it a step too far and killed this woman.”

Pierce would not say how Poonmagar would have known her killer, or if she worked at one of the stores he is accused of robbing.

Pierce credited “great detective work” for cracking the case.

Poonmagar was a native of Nepal who lived with her husband at Westminster Square.

Her death was one of six homicides reported in the last six weeks of 2013 in Cobb County.

Now that police have made an arrest in Poonmagar’s killing, there is one that remains unsolved, that of Juanita Calvert, an 86-year-old blind woman whose body was found in her Aviation Road home by a caregiver on Dec. 17. She was shot to death. Marietta Police are still investigating Calvert’s death and have not named any suspects.



Comments
(5)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Mike In Smyrna
|
January 11, 2014
Exodus 21:24
Unknown2014
|
January 10, 2014
I am glad that shooter got arrested within less than a month. Thanks to Cobb Police department for catching this guy so quick. His guy should be behind the bar forever and should not be on street again. He could just rob her, and spare her life, but he decided to took her life. That’s not merciful.
Immigration issues
|
January 10, 2014
This same man was arrested in 2009 and detained by ICE. He was probably deported and made his way back. Deportation costs the taxpayers billions of dollars. Until they close off the borders, there is no keeping them out. I blame the government for just opening the flood gates and not sealing the border! I pray for this woman's family because this could have been prevented if the US had any immigration enforcement.Now we have to feed this criminal for life!
mscott527
|
January 10, 2014
I'm relieved that he wasn't a resident, but once again I have to point out that if the gate in the "gated community" was working her life may have been spared!!!!
jill2014
|
February 04, 2014
I totally agree.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides