BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — When questioned by sheriff’s investigators, Richard Cortez changed his story several times regarding where he was when a man was fatally shot on Pesante Road in east Bakersfield.

But through further questioning he admitted knowing the victim, and said he’d had run-ins with him in the past, according to recently released court documents. He told investigators “the dude had a gun, he pointed it at me” but then said that happened on an earlier occasion and again denied being involved in the Dec. 30 homicide.

Investigators booked Cortez on suspicion of murder and multiple gun-related charges at the end of the Feb. 27 interview. Earlier, witnesses had identified Cortez as being involved in the killing, and a plastic cup found in a vehicle driven by the gunman had his fingerprints on it, according to the filings.

The white Toyota Tundra had been abandoned about a mile from where the shooting occurred. Video surveillance footage captured the driver pointing a gun and firing twice before fleeing in the truck, and a passenger ran from the scene, reports say. No co-defendants are listed in Cortez’s case.

Cortez, 31, has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail in the death of Joshua Samarippas, 36. The alleged gang member’s next hearing is set for March 20.

Samarippas was pronounced dead at 11:54 p.m. at Kern Medical. He had been shot just below the neck more than three hours earlier on Pesante Road near Mesa Drive, according to reports.

Cortez appears to be the same man rescued from a chimney at a home on Camino Primavera in January. Police have confirmed his name and date of birth match the man freed from the chimney.