Cruz Medina, 16, who is in jail pending a murder trial for the death of Jada Gonzales at a party in Northwest Albuquerque in December, has been charged for a separate armed robbery that occurred a month before Gonzales’ death.
Albuquerque Police Department charged Medina for an armed robbery that occurred at 118th Street and Gayle Lane SW. The victim stated her tires had been shot and she was waiting at a nearby Walmart.
According to a release from Albuquerque Police Department, the victim stated while she tried to enter a gated community along 118th and Gayle, a car pulled up behind her and two males approached her car. As they approached, they began yelling at the girl to get out of her car. She said they then proceeded to strike her with the firearm and stomp on her.
A woman from the offender’s vehicle then tried to steal the victim’s car. The victim tried fighting the woman but the two men pointed guns at her and asked if this is how she wanted to die. The offenders then stole the victim’s and her passenger’s purses.
The offenders fired shots at the victim’s car, with one shot shattering the back windshield, as they fled. The victim was able to get video of the suspects and reported that to the police.
Social media played a large role in the homicide case of Jada Gonzales, who was a student at Albuquerque Academy.
Investigators with APD’s Digital Intelligence Unit identified the two males and female in the video taken by the victim. The investigator with DIT stated the group was linked to multiple violent crimes across the city, including the homicide Gonzales.
Multiple search warrants were executed on the electronic devices of the three teens, including cellphone data and social media extractions. Through the investigation into the cellphone data, Medina was found to have spoken to three other people on Nov. 22, 2022, about robbing a female and shooting at her car. He was also seen in Snapchat photos from the night of the shooting wearing the same clothes seen in the victim’s video. GPS data places him in the area of the incident at the time it occurred.
Medina has been charged with armed robbery, attempt to commit a felony (armed robbery), five counts of conspiracy (armed robbery, attempt to commit a felony, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and shooting at or from a motor vehicle), aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.