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Boy, 15, Died in Shooting

By Carolyn Carlson
Journal Staff Writer
    The teen fatally shot in the head during a drive-by shooting Wednesday in the Valley Gardens area near Coors and Gun Club SW has been identified as 15-year-old Israel Garcia.
    Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. David Knowles said the shooting was gang-related but declined to elaborate.
    According to Knowles, calls came into dispatch around 12:50 p.m. Wednesday reporting a shooting in the vicinity of the 4500 block of Valley Gardens Circle SW.
    A group of teens was playing football in a cul de sac when a white car drove up and someone fired shots into the group before the car sped off, according to the sheriff's department.
    Knowles said detectives questioned about five juveniles and adults at the sheriff's office Downtown but no arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon. Knowles said there are "plenty of leads" being followed in the ongoing investigation.
    Albuquerque Public Schools spokesman Rigo Chavez said Garcia was a sophomore at Rio Grande High School.
    A check of juvenile criminal records shows Garcia had a 2005 battery on a school employee charge dismissed in January 2006. Records also show that in January 2006, Garcia completed a six-month probation sentence for a 2005 public affray charge. In addition, 2003 charges of criminal damage to property and larceny under $100 were dismissed in January 2005.
    Garcia was set to make his first appearance in court on Jan. 8 on an October arrest for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute within a drug-free school zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.