Boy, 14, charged in killing of fellow West Mesa HS student - Albuquerque Journal

Boy, 14, charged in killing of fellow West Mesa HS student

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A fight over a stolen “ghost gun” next to the football field at West Mesa High School on Friday turned deadly when police say a 14-year-old shot a 16-year-old fellow student who accused him of stealing it.

Albuquerque police have arrested Marcos Trejo and charged him with murder and tampering with evidence.

Trejo was arrested Friday evening at a West Side home. He was booked into the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center, said Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, in a news release.

At the address where Trejo was taken into custody, a man who answered the door told a Journal reporter he had “the wrong house” as others gathered behind him.

Prosecutors have filed a motion to keep Trejo behind bars until trial.

“There is conceivably a no more dangerous situation than students possessing firearms at school. At only 14 years old, (Trejo) was carrying a loaded firearm … and shot a classmate multiple times,” prosecutors wrote in the motion filed Saturday. “It is clear that (Trejo) has no appreciation for human life, and that he is an extremely dangerous and violent individual.”

A photo posted to Facebook by a family friend shows Andrew Burson at a sporting event. Burson was shot and killed Friday. (Source: Facebook)

Just before 8:30 a.m., officers were called to the high school where they found Andrew Burson, a junior, had been shot multiple times. A sergeant tried to save him, but he died at the scene.

The students inside the school were told to shelter in place and their parents eventually came to pick them all up. Meanwhile, detectives began investigating.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, the officers noticed a group of teenagers arguing near where Burson was killed. They talked with those teenagers and learned that Burson believed that Trejo had stolen a “ghost gun or Glock replica” he had bought on the internet and assembled himself.

Burson had posted about it on Snapchat the day before, saying “some fool stole my gun, no big deal, just a minor setback,” the complaint said.

One of the teens told detectives that he and Trejo were walking near the school and Trejo was “walking as if he had something in his shorts,” which the teen said he believed was a gun. Then, the teen said, Burson arrived in his silver BMW with black rims and got out to confront Trejo.

According to the complaint, Burson — who is identified by the initials A.B. — demanded Trejo give him his stuff back and held him against the fence. Trejo was able to get away and began running southbound.

“A.B. started to run after him when Marcos produced a handgun and shot at A.B. several times (5-6 gunshots were heard by M.R.),” the detective wrote in the complaint. “A.B. then fell to the ground.”

Trejo fled the scene.

Detectives also found security camera video from a nearby business that they said verified the witness accounts.

Investigators staked out Trejo’s West Side home until they spotted him leaving in a change of clothes. He was arrested and taken to the police station where he declined to talk to detectives without an attorney.

It’s unclear who his attorney will be.

An APD spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about whether the gun had been found.

In a news conference following the shooting Friday, local officials and law enforcement decried juveniles having guns, saying it was a deadly mix.

“It is the connection between a juvenile and a weapon that costs a life and we cannot have that in our city,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “I just want to close by saying this is a related conversation that has been happening all over America, and now we’re seeing it happen right here in Albuquerque.”

Some who knew the boy and his family took to social media to ask for prayers for Burson’s parents.

“Their 16 year old son Andrew was shot and killed at high school this morning,” one man posted on Facebook next to a picture of the slain boy smiling while standing at what appeared to be a stadium.

By Saturday morning, a cluster of candles and flower bouquets littered the ground where the shooting took place. A metallic-red balloon arrangement of stars and hearts bobbed from a nearby tree.

Italy Lugo, who said she was a friend and co-worker of Burson, sat next to the memorial with a stuffed koala bear beside her. Lugo, her arms crossed and eyes heavy, stared at the pile of candles and flowers like it could explain away the situation.

By 6 p.m., Lugo had returned to the site with three boys.

The boys passed around a blunt of marijuana as they huddled against the wind — solemnly looking down at the pile of candles and flowers that accumulated where their friend died.

The boys said Burson was “goofy” and was always messing around. When it came to his friends, one boy described Burson as “a real one” who always put others first. Another boy said Burson was “dope” on a dirt bike and often showed off his skills by effortlessly popping wheelies during rides in the mesa.

When asked about Trejo, the boys all hung their heads. On that point, nobody seemed to have anything to say.

Journal city editor Martin Salazar contributed to this report.


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