ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Albuquerque Police Department has revealed that a deadly shooting outside Isotopes Park was the result of a long-standing gang rivalry. The police have also unsealed a criminal complaint that provides further details on how the suspects attempted to cover up their involvement in the crime.
The police have described the incident as a case of mistaken identity. During a press conference on Thursday night, Chief Harold Medina described the suspects. He stated that the suspects were likely involved in drug dealing, as evidenced by the large quantity of pills found in their possession. He further condemned their actions, stating that they were not only causing harm through violence but also through the distribution of harmful substances.
The suspects, identified as 22-year-old Jose Romero, 21-year-old Nathen Garley, and 26-year-old Daniel Gomez, are accused of firing 17 shots at a truck near Isotopes Park on September 6. The attack resulted in the death of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas and serious injuries to his 23-year-old cousin, Tatiana Villegas.
According to the police, the suspects were aiming at a rival gang, who were also in a white truck. Surveillance footage shows the intended target’s truck passing by the victims’ vehicle.
Romero was apprehended on Thursday outside an Albuquerque Allsups on charges of shooting, fentanyl possession, and a 2020 warrant for drugs. He had previously been accused of escaping CYFD custody and evading police in 2019, but those charges were dismissed. Evidence suggests that Romero attempted to sell the black Dodge Durango SRT involved in the shooting, which is still missing.
Garley was arrested last week by New Mexico State Police on a gun possession warrant and federal drug charges after 22 pounds of fentanyl were found in his car. Gomez, the third suspect, had just completed probation in May for a 2021 drug case.