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Attacker's father: 'I was sick to my stomach'

Updated: 07/21/2014 5:39 PM | Created: 07/20/2014 10:35 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Victor Prieto says he is in shock after his son allegedly confessed to taking part in the murder of two men in a vacant lot near 60th Street and Central.

Even veteran Albuquerque police detectives say it is possibly the most horrifying crime scene they've ever seen.

But it is who this boy is accused of killing that has his father questioning everything, because Gilbert Tafoya's family was homeless once, too.

"It's awful to know and understand your son could do something like that," Prieto said. "It's hard, you know, as a parent. You feel like you've failed."

Saturday night, APD officers came to the door, asking to talk to Preito's 15-year-old son, Gilbert Tafoya, and his friends, 16-year-old Nathaniel Carrillo and 18-year-old Alex Rios.

His dad says Gilbert seemed to know exactly what was about to happen.

"As soon as the police officers told us to call the boys out to talk to them to ask if they'd seen anything, he right away started to throw up," Prieto said.

There were rumors in his neighborhood about Gilbert getting violent, but Prieto says he assumed it was with other kids.

However, APD says these three teens admitted to attacking more than 50 homeless people all over Albuquerque in the last few months, and finally to bludgeoning two homeless men in a vacant lot just a few hundred feet from Tafoya's house.

Some police officers said the crime scene made them sick to their stomachs.

"For someone who sees this every day to come and say that it's horrendous the way that they left them. It's beyond me," Prieto said.

But for Prieto, the biggest questions may never have answers. When the economy tanked in 2008, he says his family, including Gilbert, became homeless, too.

"It's so hard that he could do that to someone where... I mean, like I said, we came from there. You know what I mean? We're not there now, but that's where we... We got out of there," Prieto said.

Now, he says his family is faced with a long road, but that Gilbert isn't putting up a fight.

"He knows what he did and now he's got to pay for what he did," he said.

Gilbert's father says he had just finished probation for a marijuana possession charge. Police have now charged all three boys with two counts of murder and conspiracy. 

Albuquerque police are trying to figure out if any recent unsolved crimes against homeless people may have been committed by these teens. APD is encouraging the homeless, advocates and outreach groups to report anything they've heard to (505)-242-COPS or to Crime Stoppers at (505)-843-STOP.

Gilbert Tafoya, 15, is accused of killing two homeless men with his friends
Nathaniel Carrillo, 16, and Alex Rios, 18, were also charged with murder.

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