Suspect, then 17, arrested in 2021 homicide - Albuquerque Journal

Suspect, then 17, arrested in 2021 homicide

Santiago Silva (MDC)

Copyright © 2023 Albuquerque Journal

A young man has been arrested in the 2021 shooting death of a homeless man in Southeast Albuquerque.

Santiago Silva, 18, was charged with first-degree murder, robbery and tampering with evidence in the July 29 killing of 23-year-old Matthew Chavez.

Silva, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

Officers were sent around noon to a Quick Track gas station at 1720 Central SE in response to a shooting. The 911 caller said a friend had been shot in the adjacent alley, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Arriving officers found Chavez unresponsive near a single 10 mm bullet casing.

Police said surveillance footage showed a man – later identified as Silva – talking with another man in the alley before Chavez approached the two.

At some point, according to the complaint, Silva was seen pulling a gun out of his pocket and shooting Chavez before he fled.

Police said officers arrested Silva and two others Sept. 5 in an unrelated smoke shop robbery the same day. Inside the apartment where Silva was found, officers located several guns and bullet casings in a Chick-fil-A bag labeled “Santiago Silva.”

The casings in the bag matched the one found in the gas station alley where Chavez was killed, according to the complaint.

After his arrest Tuesday, police said Silva agreed to talk to them about Chavez’s death. According to the complaint, he told detectives that Chavez tried to pull a gun on him and he shot Chavez with it during a struggle.

Police said Silva told them he ran from the scene and got rid of the gun along the way.

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