APD charges 4 teens for drive-by shooting that killed 5-year-old girl
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four teenagers have been charged for the drive-by shooting that resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl in Albuquerque.
So far, police have arrested 15-year-old Alexander Barraza and 16-year-old Yahir Carballo. Police are still searching for two brothers — 17-year-old Jose Luis Ramirez and 15-year-old Alan Ramirez — who are also charged with the murder.
Police say the teens were in two stolen Kia Souls when they entered the Vista Del Sol mobile home park and fired off at least eight shots.
5-year-old Galilea Samaniego was sleeping in one of the trailers at the time and was hit and killed by one of the bullets.
Detectives learned that the trailer belonged to an elderly woman, who lived in the trailer with her teenage grandson. She was babysitting Samaniego, her two sisters, and a fourth child when the shooting happened.
Police say the grandson has been in an ongoing dispute with Jose Luis Ramirez that started when they were in middle school. A dispute over a girl escalated in recent months, allegedly resulting in drive-by shootings between the two teens and several friends.
Just minutes after the shooting at the trailer park, another drive-by shooting happened in a nearby neighborhood. Police say the people inside that home – the homeowner, his wife, and four-year-old son – were not injured. The family told police that it was the second drive-by at their house in the past few weeks, and they had video surveillance that showed the two Kia Soul vehicles approaching the home.
The grandson living at the mobile home park told police the other house was targeted because of his dispute with Jose Luis Ramirez. The grandson said he had two friends that were associated with that home.
Albuquerque police determined the Kia Souls were stolen from separate West Side apartment complexes the night before the shootings. Detectives found one Kia Soul abandoned in a West Side neighborhood, with bullet casings both outside and inside of the car.
The second stolen Kia Soul was discovered by deputies with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. The car had been intentionally set on fire on the far West Mesa.
All four teens are charged with an open count of murder, conspiracy, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM
While giving an update on this case, APD leaders talked about the Violence Intervention Program and shared insight into the challenges they’re facing.
The point of the Violence Intervention Program is to look for people who are driving gun violence in Albuquerque and intervene to try and push them to change their lives for the better.
Authorities said out of the hundreds of people they’ve approached to offer resources and a better path – only a quarter of them have accepted.
APD has weekly meetings where they talk about recent shootings and homicides, identify the people responsible, and figure out how to get in touch with them. They go with reps from Albuquerque Community Safety’s Social Services team to try and introduce them to an alternative lifestyle, and get them any services they might need – from a GED to job training to therapy.
Leaders say they’re making a lot of visits with young people between the ages of 17 and 26.
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