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Police say man arrested in Sioux Falls pursuit is suspect in December homicide

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:24 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The man arrested following a destructive pursuit through the streets of Sioux Falls was wanted in connection to a recent homicide, authorities say.

Twenty-one-year-old Josue Emmanuel Hernandez is one of three suspects recently arrested in connection to a Dec. 30 fatal shooting in western Sioux Falls, Lt. Terrance Matia said Wednesday.

Police previously said the victim in the shooting, 27-year-old Mitchell James Houchins, was found lying in the street with a gunshot wound in his chest. Court documents state Houchins was shot as a result of a robbery during a drug deal.

Lt. Matia identified the other suspects in the homicide as 28-year-old Crystal Lorraine Mousseau and 29-year-old Susan Alice Sanchez, both of Sioux Falls. Police arrested Mousseau Monday and Sanchez Saturday.

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Josue Hernandez, left, Susan Sanchez, center, and Crystal Mousseau are suspects in a Dec. 30...
Josue Hernandez, left, Susan Sanchez, center, and Crystal Mousseau are suspects in a Dec. 30 homicide in Sioux Falls, police say.(Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office)
Destructive chase

Officers arrested Hernandez Tuesday afternoon after a ten-mile chase through central and western Sioux Falls.

Police spokesperson Sam Clemens said the Minnehaha County Fugitive Task Force located Hernandez driving a stolen vehicle around 4 p.m. near 12th Street and Lyons Avenue. Hernandez refused to pull over, initiating a chase that stretched down to 41st Street near Western Avenue, over to Marion Road, and eventually ended on Kiwanis Avenue near W. Burnside Street.

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Map of the Jan. 12 pursuit involving homicide suspect Josue Hernandez
Map of the Jan. 12 pursuit involving homicide suspect Josue Hernandez(Sioux Falls Police Dept.)

Clemens said Hernandez clipped a vehicle while turning on to 41st Street, causing minor damage. Hernandez then sideswiped a vehicle pulled over on 41st Street when he turned north onto Terry Avenue. Later, two patrol vehicles attempting to stop Hernandez on W. 12th Street were involved in an accident.

Hernandez ended up back at 12th Street and Lyons Avenue - where the pursuit began - and tried turning north onto Lyons Avenue. Clemens said he failed to make the turn and crashed into a snowbank near Taco Bell, which damaged the vehicle.

Clemens said after Hernandez hit the snowbank, speeds in the chase dropped “considerably.” Speeds ranged from 50-70 miles per hour prior to the crash; afterward, the average speed was 30-40 miles per hour.

An officer used a pit maneuver to stop Hernandez’s vehicle on Kiwanis Avenue just south of W. Burnside Street. Clemens said Hernandez then rammed the vehicle of the officer who had just stopped him. Other police cars were able to block his vehicle in, and officers were then able to take Hernandez into custody.

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A suspect wanted for homicide is in custody following a police pursuit in Sioux Falls Tuesday.
A suspect wanted for homicide is in custody following a police pursuit in Sioux Falls Tuesday.(Dakota News Now)

Clemens said no one was injured during the chase.

“It’s kind of surprising, given the high speeds and the number of crashes, and really, the recklessness with which he was driving,” Clemens said. “It’s probably the one silver lining of all of this, that we didn’t have any serious injuries.”

The vehicle Hernandez was driving was stolen in Sioux Falls on Dec. 16, Clemens said.

New details in homicide

An arrest affidavit filed this week reveals new details in the Dec. 30 shooting, including that Hernandez shot Houchins while Hernandez was attempting to rob him during a drug deal.

The affidavit states Houchin and one of the suspects, Crystal Mousseau, drove together to the scene of the shooting at Pine Meadows Mobile Home Park to purchase methamphetamine. The other suspect, Susan Sanchez, admitted to being in Hernadez’ picking during the incident.

Detectives say Hernandez told Mousseau he planned to rob Houchins during the deal because Hernandez was upset that Houchins took $1,000 from one of his friends. Mousseau said she knew Hernandez had a gun, but he told her he did not intend to hurt Houchins.

During the meetup, Hernandez began yelling at Houchins. Eventually, Hernandez got into an SUV alone with Houchins. The affidavit says Mousseau saw Hernandez exit the SUV then get into the car Houchin arrived in. She then saw Houchins get out of the SUV, walk to the street, then collapse.

A surveillance system from a nearby home also captured part of the incident, according to the affidavit. The video showed Houchins get out of the SUV, then run about 75 feet before he collapsed. Everyone drove away from the scene immediately afterward.

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A surveillance image obtained by Dakota News Now from a home near the crime scene showed...
A surveillance image obtained by Dakota News Now from a home near the crime scene showed several vehicles driving away shortly after the sound of an apparent gun shot.(Dakota News Now)

The affidavit says Hernandez and Mousseau fled to Denver in the car that had been driven by Houchins. That vehicle was eventually towed, so they called Sanchez to pick them up. Both Hernandez and Sanchez wanted to go to Texas or California, but Crystal insisted on returning to Sioux Falls.

Police say Hernandez and Mousseau face charges of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and attempted robbery. Sanchez was arrested for being an accessory to a crime, eluding law enforcement, and drug possession charges.

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