ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A fight over a drinking game at a party this weekend turned deadly when two people opened fire on two teenagers, killing one and critically wounding the other, according to police.
A third teen was accidentally shot in the leg.
Police have arrested Esias Madrid, 18, and charged him with an open count of murder for allegedly shooting and killing 18-year-old Arturo Villa at a party early Sunday morning.
And they issued an arrest warrant for 22-year-old Jack Daniel Trujillo, who they believe shot and critically wounded 17-year-old Jaime Acevez. The third teen, Ignacio Vasquez, 17, was in stable condition Sunday.
Police say the group of teenagers and young adults was partying at a home near 98th and Tower SW on Saturday night. When shots were fired, they left that party, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. It appears no one was injured in that shooting, and the criminal complaint gives no further details.
The group then went to a different party at a mobile-home park near Blake and Unser SW and started playing beer pong, in which ping-pong balls are tossed into cups of beer. When a ball lands in a cup, the opposing team has to drink.
Acevez and Villa were playing against two men, and Acevez and a man on the opposing team bet their watches. Acevez got upset when he lost his watch and started fighting with one of the men, according to the complaint.
The fight spilled onto the street, and that’s where witness accounts begin to differ, according to court records.
Police say Trujillo shot Acevez in the back and Madrid shot Villa, according to the complaint.
When police arrived, they found Villa in his brother’s car, shot in the neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Acevez was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Villa’s cousin Michelle Castellano said her family is traumatized by the shooting.
“It’s such a hard time for my family, we can’t believe it,” she said. “Everyone’s here and he’s not. He did not deserve this.”
She said Villa grew up in Albuquerque and had a job at a local Taco Bell. She said he had expressed interest in becoming a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
“He would always work and help out his family,” she said. “He was a firework, he sparkled everywhere. He was pure happiness surrounded by so many people.”
Giselle Martinez, Villa’s on-again off-again girlfriend for three years, was in Mexico when she found out he had been killed. Martinez, 18, came back a day early and spent Monday with Villa’s mom.
“I just lay in his room and I wrapped myself in his blanket. I could still smell him,” she said. “I was crying on the way back from Mexico. I’m just torn apart.”
Villa’s friends met in the South Valley on Monday afternoon to try to raise money for his family.
His longtime friend Cristian Vizcarra-Renova set up a GoFundMe page for him, and people were holding signs and selling water bottles at the event.
Vizcarra-Renova said he met Villa about six years ago at a quinceañera. They were friends ever since.
He said Villa loved working on his truck and was part of the Bullz truck club. He said it was a shock to find out his friend was dead.
“It was really hard yesterday when we heard the news,” he said. “I couldn’t take it, I started crying. It was all for something stupid.”
Another longtime friend, Derrick Prieto, said Villa had a big heart.
“Everybody was in shock; he wouldn’t be the guy who that would happen to,” Prieto said. “He was on no one’s bad side.”
After the shooting Sunday, police stopped a red sedan as it was trying to leave the party. Inside they found Madrid with three other friends, one of whom was
Vasquez, who was shot in the upper thigh. He was taken to a hospital.
One of the friends asked officers to let him go to the bathroom at a nearby Allsup’s.
Police later discovered that the friend had dumped a gun in the Allsup’s bathroom.
When police interviewed Madrid, he told officers that was the gun he used to shoot Villa, according to the complaint.
He said that it began with a fight in the street and that Trujillo fired first. He said that he walked toward Trujillo and that two men “jumped” him and started hitting him in the back of the head, according to the complaint.
He said he fired backward at the men.
Madrid was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence, along with the murder.
Castellano said her family wants justice for Villa’s death.
She said she’s hoping police will soon find Trujillo.
And she said wants Madrid, if he’s at fault, to be punished.
“I just want justice to be served, my whole family wants justice to be served,” she said. “You don’t play with someone’s life.”