Two men haggling over the price of methamphetamine — the seller wanted $15, the prospective buyer wanted to pay $5 — ultimately prompted Monday’s fatal shooting at a Santa Fe train station, witnesses told police.
Initial police reports of the afternoon incident at the Rail Runner Express’ South Capitol Station, in an area surrounded by state government buildings, describe a dispute over a minor drug transaction witnesses say preceded an attack that killed 24-year-old David Hernandez of Pojoaque and critically injured a second man, 38-year-old Eli Trujillo.
Trujillo, who received several gunshot and knife wounds to his abdomen, left bicep and left thigh, underwent surgery and remains in critical condition, a police report said.
Matthew Arellano, 22, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. He was arrested Tuesday night at a Hopewell Street apartment and is facing a hearing in state District Court to determine whether he poses a danger to the community and should be jailed without bond until his trial.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Arellano told officers the men were armed and he shot them in self-defense to protect himself and a friend, Travis Whaler, who claimed Hernandez and Trujillo had jumped him and stolen his belongings.
He “did not mean to kill anyone” when he and Whaler went to the train station to confront the men, Arellano said. But, he told police, Trujillo pointed a gun at him and Hernandez attempted to stab him.
The arrest warrant affidavit said one witness who ran to the scene to aid the victims found Hernandez dead on the bench, “holding a firearm.”
Whaler had not been charged as of Thursday, but police said in a news release issued Wednesday they were seeking him for questioning.
A police report says a woman who was with Hernandez and Trujillo at the train station saw a young man with a skateboard arguing with Hernandez over the cost of methamphetamine. He then walked away while speaking with someone on the phone, telling them to “hurry up and get over here.”
Moments later, violence ensued.
The arrest warrant affidavit said investigators did not recover any bullet casings. “No bullet casings were located on scene by officers or crime scene technicians,” the document said.
Court records show Arellano has been charged with felony offenses in the past, including unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon and impersonating a peace officer.
Hernandez, a father of two young children, attended Pojoaque Valley High School. His family has organized an online GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses.