Man arrested on murder charge for shooting death near West - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Man arrested on murder charge for shooting death near West

David Zahirniak David Zahirniak
MCLENNAN COUNTY - McLennan County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested a 43-year-old man on murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a McLennan County woman in April.

The warrant for David Zahirniak was obtained following lab analysis of evidence collected at the scene of the shooting death of Caitlyn Reed, at her Tokio Road home near West. No bail has been set at this time.

According to the complaint, police were called out to Reed's home on April 5, and found her body with a gunshot wound to the chest. Officers found a .40 caliber Springfield XD firearm on the floor in the bedroom, next to the bed. There was one fired shell casing, and several unfired rounds found.

Police interviewed Zahirniak and he told them he went to Reed's home after he couldn't reach her. He told police he entered the home and found Reed's body on her bed, positioned with her back facing north, which was inconsistent with the trajectory at the scene and inconsistent to the bloodstain evidence. He says he then left the home and went to a friend's house to call 911, then returned with his friend. Investigators say he told them it may have been a suicide but deputies were questionable.

 "Based on trajectories of the fired round and or rounds that we found at the residence they were not consistent with the initial story that was told to us by the defendant," Capt. Bubba Colyer said.

A witness told police they saw Zahirniak at Reed's home at the approximate time she was killed, and there was a physical confrontation between the two. Zahirniak denies those claims.

Zahirniak was previously arrested on March 21, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was accused of assaulting Caitlyn Reed and attempting to hit the ambulance with his car as she was being transported to the hospital. After the arrest, Zahirniak texted Reed that he was "going to rape and kill" her, in retaliation for him being arrested. Caitlyn Reed then got her father's gun to protect herself from Zahirniak.

After that incident investigators say Reed feared for her safety and took a handgun from her parents' home. Her family found out and took it back, but Reed took it to her home again. Deputies say that gun is the murder weapon.

Reed is survived by two small children who are being taken care of by their father.

On Friday, May 9, police got the gun shot residue test that was taken on Zahirniak. It showed that Zahirniak's right hand had gun shot residue.
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