ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 19-year-old is facing charges for one high-profile murder, and he may be connected to the death of a 21-year-old shot while playing Pokemon Go, which happened three weeks later. KRQE News 13 looked into the case and asked APD why police didn’t arrest Izaiah Garcia sooner, despite a pile of evidence.
On Thursday, the Albuquerque Police Department insisted it was not dragging their feet. Spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos saying they got the evidence they really needed to arrest Garcia for Sean Markey’s murder, after Cayla Campos had been killed.
This is a breakdown of what evidence APD detectives collected or learned according to a criminal complaint unsealed on October 30:
APD officers were called to a home near Eubank and Montgomery after reports of several shots fired. That night, officers learned 17-year-old Sean Markey had been shot and transported to the hospital.
That night, Markey died from the injuries he sustained from a single gunshot wound to the back.
Monday, September 30:
A detective reported she “obtained surveillance from the immediate area of the shooting” and collected several casings from a 9mm.
Tuesday, October 1:
A detective spoke with a witness labeled “Concerned Citizen #9” who stated they “knew the identity of the male subject responsible for shooting Sean Markey, and stated he goes by the name of “Taz” and was a student at “Manzano High School.”
Wednesday, October 2nd:
The detective got in touch with Manzano High School’s Albuquerque Police School Resource Officer (SRO). The detective “gave SRO the moniker “Taz” and requested his assistance in attempting to identify him.”
Later that day, the SRO identified “Taz” as 19-year-old Izaiah Garcia. While a student, he had been “placed on long-term suspension for having a firearm”
The detective noted “The descriptors of Izaiah matched those given up to this point in the investigation of the individual known as “Taz.”
Friday, October 4:
The detective interviewed the teen they say Garcia meant to shoot outside the party. The intended target knew Garcia and identified him as the shooter with “1000%” certainty.
That day, the detective also reviewed the surveillance video with the intended target.
In it, “multiple flashes from muzzle fire are seen coming from the male who the intended target identified as “Taz” Izaiah Garcia, who is seen with his arm extended in the southern direction that Sean Markey is sitting and the intended target is running… As soon as those gunshots are fired, Sean is seen standing up, falling slightly, as if to have been struck by something, and then starting to run west.”
Questions about what was known would come into play on October 9.
Wednesday, October 9th:
Detectives interview a friend of Garcia’s who was with him the night Sean Markey was murdered. He admitted to being at the homecoming after-party with Garcia.
He also told the detective Garcia lived with his girlfriend and they had been at her house both before and after the party where Markey was shot.
Still under the October 9 header, the detective lays out how police used social media to find Garcia’s girlfriend and then look up her address. It led the detective to a home bordering Bianchetti park.
Investigators say on October 18, a masked gunman, who matches Garcia’s description, was standing outside that home during an attempted robbery. Ultimately, shooting at a different car driving by. Cayla Campos, 21, who had been playing Pokemon Go with her boyfriend, was hit and killed.
On Thursday, KRQE News 13 asked police why they waited to go after Garcia if they had learned his live-in girlfriend’s address, which, according to the layout of the criminal complaint, had happened on October 9.
Spokesman Gallegos told KRQE News 13, “The complaint doesn’t attach a date” and “the detective did not list every action she took on every date.” Adding, the detective said she did not learn of the address until October 23, which is five days after Campos was killed.
There is no specific mention of October 23 anywhere in the detailed criminal complaint.
Gallegos claims when detectives learned of the address on October 23, that is when they applied for a search warrant for the home. A final, documented, interview was done on October 27. Gallegos claims the search warrant and the interview is what finally gave them enough evidence to justify an arrest.
Prior to both of those, APD had surveillance video, physical evidence that included shell casings and multiple other identifications of Garcia within the first week of Markey’s murder. Gallegos called those just “investigative leads.”
Garcia has not been charged with Campos’ murder. They say that investigation is ongoing.
Garcia is currently in custody facing charges for Markey’s murder.
A district court judge is set to decide on Monday if he will stay there until trial.