ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A father and son have been arrested in the shooting death of an 8-year-old who was killed while riding in a car in southeast Albuquerque, authorities said.
Police spokeswoman Tasia Martinez says 45-year-old David Candelaria Sr. and his 23-year-old son, David Candelaria Jr., were arrested after a SWAT standoff Sunday. The elder Candelaria faces an open murder charge in the Friday shooting of Sunni Reza. Both men were charged with conspiracy to commit a second-degree felony and tampering with evidence.
Martinez says the men did not know the girl or her family, but fired shots into the vehicle she was riding in with her father, uncle and brother after an altercation outside a community center.
According to criminal complaints in the case, the girl’s uncle was driving the car. He called 911 and dropped off the girl and her father, Troy Fontenelle, at a fire station. The paramedics took the girl to the hospital, where she died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The driver told police the suspects had tried to carjack him. The suspects told police they were trying to flag down a ride and thought the car was trying to run them down. According to the criminal complaint, the suspects said they fired the shots toward the car after two men got out and one had a “cylindrical object” in his hand.
The suspects were identified by surveillance cameras at a Subway sandwich shop shortly after the shooting.