ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After the announcement this week of three suspects getting arrested for their connection in the fatal shooting of 11-year-old Froylan Villegas, family members and a close friend have given their reactions to the latest development. For weeks, the Villegas family waited for their son’s killers to be found and taken into custody.

Now, that wait is over. A close family friend of the Villegas’, Angelica Amaro said the family had mixed feelings after hearing the news of the arrests. Amaro said she contacted Beverly Villegas, Froylan’s mother, when she heard police had taken two men into custody Thursday night- and asked her how she felt. “I sent her a message and just asked her how she was doing and if she was okay, and she’s like ‘they caught them, but that doesn’t change anything for us,'” Amaro explained. “‘They destroyed our lives,'”.

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In a statement Friday, Beverly Villegas said,

“We know that this arrest won’t bring Froylan back or make things better for Tatiana, but we want justice to be served,” she stated. They need to pay for this senseless attack on innocent people. We are happy they’ve been arrested, and they will no longer run the streets and hurt others. We are mad for all the pain they’ve caused us, the family friends and so many others. They’ve destroyed our lives, but we will get through this and come out stronger. We’ve been blessed with love, support and prayers from so many and we are grateful for that.”

Beverly Villegas

Amaro said Froylan was outgoing, outspoken, and kind to everyone he met. Froylan enjoyed spending time with horses and would take frequent trips to Ruidoso Downs to watch the races. Amaro added that he had ambitions of taking his passion for horses and becoming a horse trainer himself one day. “He was just a regular 11-year-old boy that changed his mom and dad’s life for the better, he was just their world,” Amaro said.

Froylan’s older cousin, Tatiana Villegas was also hit during the shooting. Amaro said Tatiana is currently resting at a rehabilitation center and is going through physical therapy, but she has a long road ahead of her.

“Right now, we’re not sure if she’s going to be able to walk or not, and that’s not fair to her,” Amaro added. “Especially considering that she was always so active.” The family has been updating their home to add features that would make it easier for Tatiana to get around.