Albuquerque police have apprehended three individuals in relation to the shooting death of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas. The suspects, identified as Jose Romero, 22, Nathan Garley, 21, and Daniel Gomez, 26, were arrested following an investigation into the incident. Villegas was fatally shot on September 6 when the suspects allegedly fired multiple rounds at a white Dodge truck, which they mistakenly believed to be another vehicle involved in an ongoing feud. Villegas’ mother, Tatiana Villegas, who was driving the truck, was critically injured and remains hospitalized.
Romero was taken into custody on Thursday and was already wanted for failure to appear in court on drug-related charges. Garley was already in custody after being arrested on September 13, during which police discovered a significant amount of cash in his vehicle. Both men were armed at the time of their arrests and are reputed gang members. Gomez was arrested on Friday in connection with the shooting, but further details regarding his arrest have not been released.
The shooting incident prompted New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to declare a public health emergency and temporarily ban all gun owners from carrying firearms in Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County. However, the ban was lifted less than two weeks later due to non-compliance from local law enforcement and calls for the governor’s impeachment from Republican lawmakers.
A fundraising appeal for the Villegas family has raised over $40,000 as of Saturday afternoon. Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina expressed his gratitude to the detectives and crime scene investigators for their efforts in bringing justice to the victims and their families.