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Brothers charged in man’s slaying

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Steven Candelaria (MDC)

Brandon Candelaria (MDC)

Detectives have arrested two brothers after an apparent domestic dispute led to a deadly shooting Tuesday afternoon in a Southeast Albuquerque neighborhood.

Brandon Candelaria, 25, and Steven Candelaria, 29, are each charged with an open count of murder in the death of 39-year-old Luciano Montoya.

Steven Candelaria is also facing a charge of child abuse after he allegedly fired a gun into a home when his young son was inside.

It is unclear if either suspect has an attorney and family members could not be reached for comment.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Officers responded to a shooting around 1 p.m. in the 1100 block of Louisiana SE, just north of Gibson. Inside a home, they found Montoya shot in the torso; he died at the scene.

Police found more than 12 bullet casings from two different guns outside and several bullet impacts in the side of Montoya’s home. Montoya’s ex-girlfriend, who was at the scene, told police her boyfriend Steven Candelaria and his brother were responsible. She said it started Monday night when her boyfriend had beaten her and kicked her out of his house, and she took their son to stay with Montoya.

The woman told police she went outside to get some belongings from the car and left Montoya and the boy in the kitchen. She said her boyfriend and his brother were outside with handguns and they told her to get on the ground before Steven Candelaria pistol-whipped her.

The woman told police both men then began shooting at the apartment and Montoya, who had come outside to see what was going on, before the brothers ran away. She said she went inside to find her child crying, but unharmed, and Montoya “bleeding and gasping for air.”

Another witness at the scene corroborated the woman’s story and police detained Brandon Candelaria at his home and found a gun inside his truck. He told detectives he was eating pizza at his home with friends when the shooting happened and he had not seen his brother Steven in a year.

But Brandon Candelaria’s girlfriend told police he was not home when the shooting occurred and his brother had been over “the other day.”

When confronted with this information by police, Brandon Candelaria asked for an attorney. Police arrested Steven Candelaria Wednesday afternoon.

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