26.6 C
New York
Sunday, May 26, 2024

A boy’s killing led New Mexico’s governor to issue a gun ban. Arrests have been made in the case, police say.

Two men were arrested in the deadly shooting of an 11-year-old boy that prompted New Mexico’s governor to order a controversial gun ban in Albuquerque, police said Thursday. Froylan Villegas, 11, was killed near a minor league baseball park earlier this month in what Albuquerque’s police chief described as a case of mistaken identity.

Nathen Garley, 21, and Jose Romero, 22, were charged with murder in the shooting, police said in a statement. Romero was arrested outside an Albuquerque convenience store Thursday, and Garley was already in custody in a different case, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said during a news conference.

Garley was arrested last week when State Police found around 100,000 fentanyl pills in his vehicle during a traffic stop as he was driving back from Arizona, State Police Chief Troy Weisler told reporters.

What did the New Mexico governor’s gun ban do?

Villegas was killed after his family left the Albuquerque Isotopes stadium on Sept. 6, police said. Two days later, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham cited the killing of Villegas and the shooting deaths of a 5-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl earlier this summer when she tried to temporarily suspend open-carry and concealed-carry laws in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque.

The attempted gun ban didn’t apply to law enforcement officers and licensed security guards in the state’s most populous county, and gun owners with permits to carry firearms were still allowed to have their weapons on private property like gun ranges and gun shops.

The ban, part of a public health order aimed at reducing gun violence, was met with legal challenges and criticism, and a federal judge has blocked it. Last Friday, Lujan Grisham changed the order to temporarily ban guns at parks and playgrounds in the county.

In the killing of Villegas, an ongoing feud between Romero and another man escalated when they saw each other during a game at the ballpark, police said. The other man, who police didn’t identify, was at the game with members of his family.

In the ballpark’s parking lot, the man is seen on surveillance camera footage driving past the Villegas family’s vehicle, police said. Both vehicles are 2019 white Dodge pickup trucks.

The Villegas family left a short time after the other man. The suspects drove alongside their truck, and a passenger stood through the sunroof and fired into the family’s truck, thinking they were shooting into the man’s truck, police said.

“It is our belief that these cowards mixed up the two vehicles and shot into the wrong vehicle, taking the life of a young man,” Medina told reporters.

On the day after the shooting, the man who police say was the intended target sent Romero a message on Instagram telling him they shot at the wrong truck, police said.

Related Articles

Latest Articles