Former Marine Suspected in Fatal Shooting of UNT Student Waives Extradition

Denton police say the man suspected in the shooting death of a 20-year-old University of North Texas student has admitted his responsibility in the shooting.

Eric Jamal Johnson was arrested Tuesday in Yuma, Ariz., in connection with the Jan. 1 shooting death of UNT student Sara Mutschlechner.

Johnson, 20, waived his extradition rights during a hearing Thursday, and the Denton County Sheriff's Office is expected to transport him back to Denton in the next 10 days.

Johnson was an active Marine at the time of the shooting, and was arrested by U.S. Marshals at the Marine Corps air station in Yuma. On Friday, the U.S. Marine Corps issued a statement that Johnson had been "administratively separated from the Marine Corps under other than honorable conditions."

Capt. Justin Smith, a spokesman for the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command in California, said Johnson joined the Marines in August 2013. He said Johnson was an administrative specialist and had never been deployed.

According to the arrest affidavit (see below), Johnson was associated with an address in Fort Worth.

Investigators say a 20-year-old Marine is suspected in the shooting death of UNT student Sara Mutschlechner on Jan. 1.

Fatal Shooting of Sara Mutschlechner

Witnesses told Denton police that Mutschlechner and three passengers were in a sedan on New Year's Day, leaving a party, when a gray Honda Pilot SUV drove up next to them. Passengers in each vehicle exchanged words that officers say became sexually offensive.

Police said one of the SUV passengers fired multiple shots at the sedan, and a bullet struck Mutschlechner in the head. The sedan then crashed into another vehicle and an electrical pole.

Denton police say U.S. Marshals arrested Cpl. Eric Jamal Johnson Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old UNT student Sarah Mutschlechner.

Mutschlechner and one of the sedan's passengers were transported to Denton Regional Medical Center.

Mutschlechner was taken off life support later that day.

Police said they have interviewed all four occupants of the SUV and believe Johnson was the sole person responsible in the shooting that led to Mutschlechner's death.

Friends of the University of North Texas Junior say she was a film major and well-liked sorority sister in Zeta Tau Alpha.

Denton police say U.S. Marshals arrested a man Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old UNT student Sarah Mutschlechner.

"It broke my heart, along with everyone else's heart, because she did not deserve this of all people,” said junior Olivia Flores, who knew Mutschlechner from fraternity and sorority events.

Professors described her as a very involved student on campus who seemed very driven towards her career goals.

Eugene Martin, Chair of the Media Arts Department, said he hopes justice will be served in the matter, but that all of their thoughts are just with Sara’s family at this time.

Eric Johnson, the suspect in connection to a deadly shooting of a UNT student was booked at a Yuma, Arizona jail Tuesday.

NBC 5's Brian Scott and Holley Ford contributed to this report.

Johnson's Arrest Warrant  (*WARNING: Document contains profanity)

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Eric-Johnson-Warrant (Text)
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