Santa Fe police have arrested Jeremiah Quillmann, ending a nearly three-week search for the man accused in a violent carjacking in April that critically injured an elderly man at the N.M. 599 Rail Runner station.
With help from Albuquerque police, Santa Fe officers found Quillmann on Tuesday at a Motel 6 on Prospect Avenue NE in Albuquerque, according to a news release.
Capt. Aaron Ortiz said Quillmann, 24, was booked into the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday. He will be extradited to Santa Fe soon to face charges, Ortiz added.
Quillmann is facing charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and motor vehicle theft. He is suspected of shooting 73-year-old Antonio Garcia several times and then fleeing in Garcia’s 2020 Chrysler 300 the morning of April 12.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court says Garcia was attacked while waiting for his wife to arrive on the Rail Runner Express commuter train. He found a Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy parked down the road and told him about the incident before collapsing to the ground. The affidavit says Garcia sustained gunshot wounds to his face, left shoulder and left hand.
Garcia was taken to a local hospital for treatment and then transferred to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he initially was in critical condition. He was released from the hospital in early May, the Santa Fe Police Department said in the news release, but is still recovering.
Police identified Quillmann as the suspected shooter after witnesses reported seeing him near the station the night before the shooting.
An off-duty police officer and a friend were driving near N.M. 599 and West Frontage Road the evening of April 11 when they saw a man, later identified as Quillmann, lying on the side of the road at a site about two miles from the train station. They told investigators they pulled over to check on the man and see if he was alive, according to the affidavit.
Quillmann got up, approached the car and offered the men $100 for a ride back to Albuquerque, the men told police. They said Quillmann claimed someone had abandoned him in Santa Fe.
The men refused to give Quillmann a ride but offered him a large jacket before driving away. They described him as having short hair and two tattoos near his eyes, a cross and a teardrop.
When the men drove back to the same area later, they told investigators, they saw Quillmann walking east toward an Allsup’s store.
Security footage from the N.M. 599 station showed a man in a large jacket walking on the train tracks, up on the platform and toward the parking lot the morning of April 12, the affidavit says.
Garcia’s Chrysler 300 was found at a motel in Albuquerque later that day with bullet holes in the driver’s-side window. Police detained three people in a room Quillmann had entered. They told police he’d stopped by to get ammunition and left without mentioning anything about the car, the affidavit says.
The Albuquerque Police Department’s Gun Violence Reduction and Investigative Support units found Quillmann at a motel Tuesday through “mobile and static surveillance” and detained him after he tried to flee on foot through a parking lot, according to a criminal complaint filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.
Quillmann had a bag of what police suspected was methamphetamine when he was arrested, the complaint says, and is facing an additional felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.
His criminal history includes guilty pleas to counts of receiving or transferring stolen vehicles and possession of a controlled substance.
The shooting at the N.M. 599 station came a week after a deadly shooting at the Rail Runner Express South Capitol Station in Santa Fe.
Matthew Arellano, 22, is being held without bond until his trial on charges of murder and attempted murder in the April 5 shooting, which killed 24-year-old David Hernandez of Pojoaque and wounded 38-year-old Eli Trujillo.
Rail Runner managers and city officials have said they plan to increase security measures at the train stations to ensure passenger safety.