Matthew and Robert Shaw were fixtures of their Northeast Albuquerque neighborhood.
As students at Zia Elementary School, they painted their names on plaques for a mural along San Mateo north of Lomas. And when the identical twin brothers grew up, they got jobs as clerks at a Smith’s grocery store on Carlisle.
They lived with their parents and older brother in their childhood home.
Last month, the brothers, 30, were walking back from a friend’s house when, police say, 22-year-old Jerred Holguin — a stranger — shot at them, striking Matthew in the back.
He died at the scene. Robert was not hit.
“They were just walking home,” their father, David Shaw, told the Journal on Tuesday. “They were always told to try to avoid fights and stuff, just to mind their own business, and that’s what they were doing.”
After a three-week search, Holguin — who had been identified by his own mother after she saw security camera video of the shooting released to the public — was arrested Monday night.
He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on several charges after a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department Investigative Support Unit saw him driving almost double the speed limit in a stolen Kia Optima on West Central near Atrisco. Police say he and two accomplices, one a 16-year-old girl, shoplifted items from Walgreens and fled from the detective trying to arrest him.
Holguin is charged with receiving and transferring a stolen motor vehicle, fleeing a peace officer, shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance.
He is also charged with an open count of murder.
On the night of July 23, the twins — who were inseparable — went to visit a friend and gather scrap metal to recycle for extra cash, said their mother, Marvella Shaw.
“I had called them earlier to ask them not to come home too late because it was already getting late,” Marvella Shaw said. “Matt said, ‘We’re on our way; we’ll be home in a little while.’ ”
Instead, she said, Robert came home alone, much later, and said his brother had been shot.
Robert told police he and Matthew were walking past the car wash, heading north on San Mateo, when two men started yelling at them, trying to start a fight.
The brothers kept walking, but one of the men fired a shot in their direction.
Matthew continued walking a short distance and then collapsed in the street.
“It was a senseless act,” Marvella Shaw said. “My son was murdered, killed, shot in the back.”
Prosecutors agree and have filed a motion for pretrial detention, asking for Holguin to be held in jail until trial.
In the motion, they cite a prior arrest — just nine days before Matthew was killed — in which Holguin was accused of pointing a gun at a stranger over a dispute in an Allsup’s convenience store parking lot. He was authorized to be released on pretrial services, and not to possess firearms, in that case.
“The defendant is an extreme threat to the entire community,” prosecutors wrote in the detention motion. “In this case, he murders a complete stranger in cold blood with no apparent confrontation or provocation before hand.”
A hearing will be held on that motion shortly.
As for Robert — the more serious twin complementing Matthew’s goofy nature — his mother said he has been having nightmares and often wakes up crying for his brother.
“He is devastated because they were always together, they did everything together,” she said. “He’s saying, ‘Matt’s not here; I don’t want to be here.’ … It’s just never going to be the same.”