APD: Suspects arrested for shooting death of Academy student

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Just days before Christmas, 18-year-old Jada Gonzales died after getting shot at a house party near Pat Hurley Park. She was an Albuquerque Academy student and volunteered with the city.

Albuquerque police have arrested two teenagers in connection to the case – 16-year-old Cruz Medina and 19-year-old Jesse Parra.

Both Medina and Parra are facing murder charges in Gonzales’ death, and police believe they may be connected to at least two other shootings in the Albuquerque metro.

Police said they recovered surveillance video with audio from the night of the shooting. A black Dodge Charger is seen pulling up to the party. According to police, about an hour later, someone is heard yelling at people to get out of the house, and then shots are fired.

APD said detectives linked the suspect from the party to a separate call for service on Dec. 18 for an aggravated assault. When police arrived on scene, they found the same Dodge Charger.

Officers identified Parra as the registered owner of the car. The Charger had impacts and casings around it. The casings were later linked to those recovered at the house party.

Police said investigators found photos on social media that showed the two teens at the house party where Gonzales was killed.

Medina was arrested earlier this month on unrelated charges and a search warrant was issued for his phone. Police said investigators found messages referencing shooting at someone and that someone had been shot in the chest.

Medina had also sent a screenshot of a news story about the homicide.

While in custody, police said Medina told officers that he and Parra had both fired shots the night of the party. Cell phone data also placed both teens at the home when the shooting occurred.

“This senseless shooting tragically cut short the life of a promising young teen in our community,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. “I am thankful for our dedicated detectives who worked diligently on this case to bring justice to Jada’s family.”