APD arrests teenager for murder, robbery after drug deal turns deadly

Crime

A teenage girl is facing murder and robbery charges after her attempt to buy drugs at a northwest side restaurant took a drastic turn, and police say two more suspects are still missing.

“This case is pretty extreme because of the nature of the crime and the age of the offenders,” APD Ofc. Simon Drobik said.

The criminal complaint states officers found Christopher Salazar in a Chevy Suburban on Aug. 30 at the McDonald’s off 12th Street and I-40, barely alive with a gunshot wound to the head.

He later died at UNM Hospital.

APD this month arrested Rebecah Banuelos, 17, on charges of murder and robbery.

“[She] seems to be living that life of crime at such a young age,” Drobik added. “How did she fall through the cracks in society that no one was paying attention to her or watching her? Where was her family?”

Court records state Salazar’s son, who was at the McDonald’s at the time of the shooting, told police Banuelos was a former classmate who dropped out two years ago and that she had messaged him over Snapchat earlier in the day about buying $50 worth of marijuana from him.

Salazar drove his son to meet Banuelos at McDonald’s for the exchange.

On scene, the complaint states Banuelos got out of a white Sedan to talk to Salazar’s son about buying five marijuana cigarettes.

Then, the driver of the Sedan blocked in Salazar’s car, got out with a gun and demanded Salazar get out.

Salazar then grabbed his pistol and pointed it back at the other driver, who reportedly started firing into the vehicle, one shot hitting Salazar in the head, according to the criminal complaint.

Then, the driver and Banuelos got back into the Sedan and fled the scene.

“It’s still an open case. We’re still looking for people. In this case, we were able to get Rebecah into custody and book her,” Drobik said.

Banuelos has no criminal history.

Court records show she is being held at the juvenile detention center.

The details of her case going forward are unclear because several online documents are sealed.    

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