ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (TCD) — Police arrested two teens and are searching for two others for their alleged roles in the shooting death of a 5-year-old girl who was sleeping.
In the early hours of Aug. 13, just before 6 a.m., two stolen Kia Souls were driven to a trailer on Paseo del Canton Drive SW in the Vista Del Sol mobile home park. According to Albuquerque Police, several gunshots were fired “from at least one of the vehicles.” A ShotSpotter alert reportedly showed there were about eight gunshots.
One of the bullets struck Galilea Samaniego, who was sleeping in a bedroom with her two sisters. She was transported to a hospital, where she died after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
Surveillance footage from other homes in the area “showed the two vehicles flee the mobile home park at a high rate of speed.”
One day after the shooting, police shared photos of the cars in the area.
Samaniego’s grandmother, who lives with her teenage grandson in the trailer, was reportedly babysitting Samaniego and three other children. The grandson reportedly had an “ongoing altercation” with one of the suspects, which dated back to middle school. Albuquerque Police said an argument over a girl “escalated in recent months,” which they believe led to the incident.
Minutes after the shooting at the mobile home park, the teens in the two Kias reportedly drove to a residence on Delgado Drive SW and shot at the home. The people inside the home, a married couple and their 4-year-old child, were not injured, but they told police that was the second drive-by shooting aimed at their home in the last few weeks.
Another ShotSpotter alert indicated there were about 24 to 26 gunshots fired at the home. Police suspect the two shootings are related “because of family relations.” The teen at the first shooting is reportedly friends with two teens who live in the Delgado Drive house, and he believes the friends were “being targeted because of his dispute with the suspect.”
Shell casings found from the crime scenes reportedly matched evidence from another shooting that involved two of the suspects.
Investigators located one of the stolen Kias and discovered additional shell casings both inside the car and out. Witnesses reportedly saw a red SUV pick up the teens after abandoning the car. Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputies found the second Kia on Monday, Aug. 21. Police said it had been “intentionally set on fire.”
Police obtained a search warrant for a suspect’s home. The four teens are being charged with open murder, conspiracy, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
KRQE-TV reports the suspects are two 15-year-olds, a 16-year-old, and a 17-year-old. One of the 15-year-olds and the 16-year-old were arrested, but police are still searching for the other two, who are brothers.
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