Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Two charged in slaying at Roswell gas station

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Officers have arrested a man and a teenage boy in connection with a shooting that left a convenience store employee dead early Tuesday in Roswell.

Roswell Police Department spokesman Todd Wildermuth said Wednesday that Joseph Garcia, 16, is charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a handgun, and Michael Green, 21, is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in the death of 36-year-old Michael Crabtree.

He said Crabtree confronted Green and another man over a stolen candy bar and, when it escalated into a physical fight, Garcia shot Crabtree in front of the Allsup’s store.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court:

Officers responded around 12:20 a.m. to a fight outside the store at South Sunset Avenue and West Poe Street. They found Crabtree lying on the ground outside the store with at least three gunshot wounds. He died at a hospital soon afterward.

A co-worker told police that two regulars came in and that when one of them tried to steal a candy bar, Crabtree confronted them. One of the men, Green, grew irate and taunted Crabtree from the front of the store until Crabtree walked outside and began recording both men with his phone.

A fight ensued, and the co-worker said Crabtree drew a pocketknife before she heard gunfire and bullets pierced the store window. A witness at the scene told police it was a teenager who fired the shots and then yelled, “Get the (expletive) out of my way before I shoot you, too.”

Officers identified the two men in the store – Green and his roommate – and learned that the roommate’s younger brother, Garcia, had been waiting in the car. The roommate told police Garcia shot Crabtree when the fight broke out because he was “trying to protect” him from getting stabbed by Crabtree.

During questioning, Garcia told officers he was trying to save his brother after Crabtree pulled out a knife and he “didn’t know what to do,” but then grabbed a gun that was in the center console and shot Crabtree. The teen said he ditched the gun and ran with his older brother to their grandmother’s house.

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email or Contact the writer.