EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 24, 2012

Arrest made in year-old murder case

By Jill Harmacinski

---- — LAWRENCE – A Lakeland Court man was charged last night with the nearly year-old murder of a Fairhaven man who was gunned down outside a chimi food truck in downtown Lawrence.

Josue Diaz, 27, of 21 Lakeland Ct., was arrested and charged with the Dec. 31, 2011, first-degree murder of Johan Miranda, 29.

Lawrence and state police detectives arrested Diaz at his home at 7:30 p.m. He was booked and held overnight at the Lawrence police station and will be arraigned this morning in Lawrence District Court, police Chief John Romero said.

Diaz was being questioned by detectives last night. Police were not commenting on a possible motive for the murder or any other details in the case.

In mid-November, state police investigators released surveillance video they hoped would help identify Miranda’s murderer. It was unclear if the video led police to Diaz.

“They’ve been working on a bunch of leads,” Romero said.

Miranda, a father of two, died from multiple gunshot wounds after he was attacked at 1:24 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2011, near Campagnone Common.

Early that morning, Miranda, who had come to the city to visit family, was out at some dance clubs and then stopped to eat at a Latin Stars food truck parked on Jackson Street near Haverhill Street.

Gunfire erupted and Miranda was shot multiple times. He was rushed to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

About a dozen people were in the area when the shooting occurred.

Miranda’s younger sister, Stephany Miranda, said derogatory comments about her family’s Dominican heritage were made during the argument and prior to the shooting, according to a published report.

Miranda’s murder was the 10th homicide in Lawrence in 2011, following 10 murders in the city in 2010. In 2012, there have been two murders in Lawrence.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.