Albuquerque police arrest 2 suspects in murder of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas
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Update: A third suspect has been charged and arrested in this case.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque detectives have arrested two men for the murder of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas.
Police arrested 22-year-old Jose Romero and 21-year-old Nathen Garley. Investigators have determined this was a case of mistaken identity and the shooting was gang-related.
“These cowards thought they were tough,” APD Chief Harold Medina said in a social media post Thursday evening. “They killed an innocent child.”
Froylan was leaving an Albuquerque Isotopes game just over two weeks ago when someone shot into his family’s truck more than a dozen times. Froylan died and his cousin, Tatiana Villegas, was critically injured.
Police say the suspects mistook the family’s truck for another truck they were targeting. The day after the shooting, a man who was feuding with Romero sent him a message on Instagram indicating they shot at the wrong truck.
Police held a news conference on this case at their headquarters Thursday night. You can watch it here.
Froylan’s mother and baby brother were in the back seat of the truck during the shooting. Police said two bullets barely missed the infant, who was sitting in a car seat behind Froylan.
Police said Romero was armed when he was arrested at an Allsup’s in Albuquerque around 8 p.m. Thursday.
Garley had reportedly gone to Arizona following the shooting and later ran into a New Mexico State Police officer on Sept. 13 during a traffic stop in Grants. Police say when they searched his vehicle, they found about 22 pounds of fentanyl – approximately 100,000 fentanyl tablets.
Our detectives arrested a suspect for the murder of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas. With help from the public, investigators determined this was a case of mistaken identity. These cowards thought they were tough. They killed an innocent child. pic.twitter.com/d5d8eo1bC1— APD Chief of Police (@ABQPoliceChief) September 22, 2023