Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
The shooting seemed to make no sense.
A popular 17-year-old high school athlete killed by a bullet fired from outside a house during a summer get-together of teens. Friends said Jaydon Chavez-Silver, who was killed when a bullet hit him in the neck as he watched friends play cards, didn’t have a beef with anyone. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Late Friday, police provided a piece to the puzzle when they arrested a young man whom they believe was involved in the shooting that night.
The teenager they arrested, 18-year-old Donovan Maez, is the son of state Rep. Stephanie Maez, D-Albuquerque.
Officer Simon Drobik said the Albuquerque Police Department’s gang unit arrested Donovan Maez late Friday. He said police expect to make more arrests.
“It’s alarming the severity of the crime, a drive-by on a house, no conscience at all,” Drobik said. “We are out there actively seeking every individual responsible for this murder.”
Rep. Maez released a written statement Saturday afternoon.
“Donovan is my son and I love him very, very much,” she said. “My heart is aching today and I am waiting to see how this difficult situation develops.”
Retaliation gone wrong
Chavez-Silver was at a party at a home in the 1100 block of Nakomis NE around 10 p.m. June 26 when a spray of bullets came through the kitchen’s bay window.
He was hit above the clavicle and died. About 10 to 15 other people were in the house during the shooting, but none of them were injured by gunfire, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Although the detective who wrote the complaint did not detail any physical evidence connecting Maez to the shooting, she said she believed there were two motives for it: Maez was reportedly beaten up when a fight broke out at the same house about a month before Chavez-Silver was killed; and a young man who lived at the house on Nakomis NE owed one of Maez’s friends $500 for drugs.
The shooting was retaliation, Drobik said, but police don’t believe Chavez-Silver was the target.
When the detective was called to the shooting scene that night, she said, she knew some of the teens from previous homicide investigations involving youths and immediately suspected drugs were involved.
Detectives tried to get more information from a young man who lives at the Nakomis house, but he did not cooperate, according to the complaint.
Police believe he was selling cocaine from the house, the detective wrote in the complaint.
The detective took to social media to try to track down teens who knew about or may have been involved in the crime.
She saw that one of Maez’s close friends had posted a photo of 10 rounds of ammunition on social media half an hour before the shooting.
Sources told detectives that Maez was a shooter.
“The guy is out of control, running with a crew that’s out of control,” Drobik said.
Police arrested Maez on two warrants around 10 p.m. Friday and questioned him about the shooting.
Maez told detectives he believed he was going to be questioned because people he knows were pinning the shooting on him, according to the complaint.
“I knew this was going to happen,” Maez told detectives, according to the complaint.
Maez said he was at a different party the night Chavez-Silver was shot. Maez also said he wasn’t allowed at the Nakomis house and that one of his friends had been beaten up there a month ago and that’s why someone shot at the house.
Police apparently did not believe his alibi.
He was charged with an open count of murder, child abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, three counts of child abuse, assault with intent to commit a violent felony, 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit a first- or second-degree felony and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.
‘A great kid’
Chavez-Silver, who played football and was on the wrestling team for Manzano, would have been a senior this year.
“We looked into his background, and he’s a great kid,” Drobik said in a news conference the day after Chavez-Silver was shot. “Some lowlife shot into the house, and now he’s deceased in the prime of his life.”
Esperanza Quintero gave Chavez-Silver CPR as he lay on the kitchen floor.
“Words can’t explain how great of a person he was, he impacted others always for the better,” she said at the time. “I am grateful that I was able to be a part of someone’s life who was all around a caring, genuine, loving and incredible person.”
Matthew Sanchez, an Albuquerque Fire Department dispatcher, came under fire and later resigned after he fielded a frantic 911 call from Quintero about the shooting and told her he wasn’t going to deal with it and hung up.
Quintero yelled at Sanchez during a call that lasted a few minutes after he repeatedly asked her if her friend was breathing.
“OK, you know what ma’am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?” he told her. “No, my friend is dying…” she responded, and Sanchez apparently hung up.
He was reassigned by the fire department, and resigned soon after a recording of the call was released to the press.
Rep. Stephanie Maez is the chief executive officer at the Center for Civic Policy, a nonprofit designed to educate community members on how government policies will affect them.
She formerly worked as the outreach director for New Mexico Voices for Children, which advocates for New Mexico families.
She was appointed to the House of Representatives in December of last year when former Rep. Mimi Stewart left the House to finish Tim Keller’s term in the Senate.
She told the Journal at the time that she intended to run for the seat in 2016.
On Saturday, she asked for privacy while her family deals with Donovan Maez’s arrest.
“As we go forward, the love of my family and my faith in God will see us through,” she said.
Court records show her son has had a few other run-ins with the law. According to an older criminal complaint, one of Maez’s family members called police and told them she was worried because Maez had been breaking into cars and was addicted to methamphetamine.
In June, he was arrested after allegedly breaking into a house in Northeast Albuquerque with another young man. Maez later told police he broke into the house to steal property to sell for money to buy drugs, according to a criminal complaint.
A little more than a month later, police obtained an arrest warrant for Maez after he allegedly broke into a car parked in front of a house. As in the murder case, police tracked him via social media. The car’s owner posted surveillance images of the suspect on his Facebook profile, and others users commented that they believed the suspect was Maez. Maez had posted a picture of himself to his Facebook page wearing the same clothes as those seen on the suspect and making an obscene gesture, according to the warrant.
Drobik said Maez and his friends have recently described themselves as “savages” on their social media profiles.
“They all decided to act like savages that night and get in a car and shoot at a house that they knew people were in,” Drobik said. “Unfortunately, Jaydon got killed.”
Journal staff writer Ryan Boetel contributed to this report.