Albuquerque Police Department announced Friday the arrests of two teenagers for the shooting death of 18-year-old Jada Gonzales in December.
APD arrested Cruz Medina, 16, and Jesse Para, 19, for homicide of Gonzales at party.
According to a release from APD, officers responded to a ShotSpotter notification in the area of 5223 La Bajada NW on Dec. 18. Officers got another alert for multiple rounds in the same area a short time later. As officers responded to the scene, calls came in for a shooting nearby at Central Avenue and Yucca Drive NW with reports of a female victim. That young woman, identified as Jada Gonzales, was transported to the hospital where she later died. Witnesses stated Gonzales had been at a house party on La Bajada where she was shot.
On Dec. 27, detectives interviewed a male who was taking photos during the party on La Bajada the night of the shooting. He stated five males with guns were kicked out of the party around midnight and had photos of the group.
Detectives also recovered surveillance video with audio from the night of the shooting. A black Dodge Charger is seen pulling up to the party around 11:30 p.m. Around 12:45 a.m., a male is heard yelling at people to get out of the residence. The same Charger was then heard leaving the scene just before eight shots were fires, followed by eight more.
Forensic social media analysis linked the suspect from the party to a separate call for service in the early morning of December 18 for an aggravated assault. When officers responded, they located the same Dodge Charger. Officers identified the registered owner as Parra. The Charger had impacts and casings around it. The casings were later linked to those recovered at the La Bajada party.
Through further investigation of Parra’s social media accounts, Cruz Medina, 16, was identified. Medina was seen in several photos holding firearms including a Glock with a drum magazine. Photos on social media matched ones taken at the party on La Bajada.
Medina was arrested on Jan. 10 on unrelated charges and a search warrant was issued for his phone. Investigators located messages that reference shooting at someone and that someone had been shot in the chest. Medina sent a screen shot of a news story about the homicide of Gonzales. While in custody, detectives interviewed Medina who stated that he and Parra both shot firearms the night of the La Bajada party. Cellular data also placed both males at the home when the shooting occurred.
“This senseless shooting tragically cut short the life of a promising young teen in our community,” said Chief Harold Medina.“I am thankful for our dedicated detectives who worked diligently on this case to bring justice to Jada’s family.”
Medina has been charged with Murder-Open count, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Shooting at a Dwelling or Occupied Building, Conspiracy to Commit Shooting at a Dwelling, Tampering with Evidence, and Unlawful Possession of a Handgun by a Person.
Parra is charged with Murder-Open count, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Shooting at a Dwelling or Occupied Building, Conspiracy to Commit Shooting at Dwelling, Tampering with Evidence.