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Detectives have arrested a man accused of fatally shooting another after a fight outside a club in Downtown Albuquerque earlier this year.
Isaac Martinez, 20, is charged with an open count of murder in the Feb. 19 death of Jonathan Garza, 30. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on Thursday.
Prosecutors have filed a motion to detain Martinez until trial, calling him a “very violent and dangerous person.”
Helen Garza, Garza’s mother, said it doesn’t take away the pain felt by Garza’s family and, most importantly, his 10-year-old daughter Anayjah.
“I know there’s just ugly people in this world. It’s just so sad that he had to take something so special away from us,” she said.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:
Officers responded around 1:45 p.m. to the shooting outside Canvas Artistry bar near Central and First. They found Garza shot to death in the neighboring parking structure and multiple witnesses said the shooter fled in a maroon SUV.
A friend of Garza’s told police they tried to help a person who was getting beat up by the shooter and three others outside the bar and got pulled into the melee. He said after the fight ended, Garza saw the aggressors around a maroon SUV and approached them.
The friend told police a heavy-set man with a squared haircut opened fire on Garza and the group fled in the SUV. The bar owner told police he recognized the shooter as he had been kicked out months earlier after an unrelated confrontation.
Detectives identified the shooter’s friend as a local barber but he refused to speak with police without an attorney. When they searched the man’s phone police found numerous calls the night of Garza’s death with a phone associated with Martinez’s grandmother.
sent out photos of the shooter taken from the bar’s security footage to law enforcement and identified him as Martinez. On May 5, Garza’s friend “immediately picked out” Martinez as the shooter in a photo lineup.
Police said the bar owner told them Martinez “resembles” the shooter but he was not positive due to it only being a mugshot and he couldn’t see his body structure.
Helen Garza said she wished the trend of young kids shooting guns in the city would stop.
“It’s horrible… (Martinez) hasn’t even lived life and he ruined his life, multiple lives,” she said, thinking of her son and the man accused of killing him.
Garza and his four siblings were raised in Albuquerque where he graduated from Highland High School. Helen Garza said her son worked with those with special needs before fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a bodybuilder and personal trainer.
Outside of work, she said he was “the life of the party everywhere we went” who made everyone around him laugh or get up and dance. As a father Helen Garza said he was the best – always going to his daughter’s track meets and dance recitals.
Now, she said she misses his calls and texts. The way he brought the family together.
“He made sure he checked on me every day – all of my kids call me mother or Mom but he used to call me ‘mama,'” Helen Garza said. “And so I just miss hearing ‘mama,’ I just miss hearing his voice.”