ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One month after testifying in the trial tied to the 2016 killing of Victoria Martens, the brother of Fabian Gonzales is now charged in an unrelated fatal shooting. Joseph Gonzales, 44, is facing an open count of murder after investigators claim that Gonzales got in a fight with a driver on a residential street.
The shooting happened in a South Valley neighborhood Monday around 7:30 a.m., south of Blake Road and west of Isleta Boulevard. Gonzales is said to have made the 911 call after the shooting on Val Verde Drive Southwest, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
On scene, responding deputies found a male victim, Abner Antillon, lying lifeless in the street. According to a criminal complaint, deputies also found Gonzales armed with a handgun and allegedly making several statements about what happened.
Surveillance video is said to have captured most of the events surrounding the shooting. According to the complaint, at the start of the event, investigators say the video shows Gonzales standing in the front of his property when a red truck can be seen driving east, past Gonzales, at “a high rate of speed.”
At some point, investigators say the red truck reversed back west on the street. The video is said to show Antillon exiting the red truck, then getting into a “verbal argument” with Gonzales. After a short time out of view of the camera, investigators say a single gunshot can be heard on the surveillance recording, then Antillon can be seen “retreating back” to the red truck.
According to a criminal complaint, Gonzales is then said to have fired another three shots toward Antillon. “Antillon’s back is toward Gonzales,” the criminal complaint states. On scene, medical investigators found three “defects” on Antillon’s body, including one on his chest and two on his back, which were “consistent with gunshot wounds.”
Investigators say Gonzales told the first arriving deputies that he got in an argument with Antillon, telling him to slow down. Gonzales is also said to have told deputies he fired a warning shot before Antillon ran back to his red truck.
According to the complaint, Gonzales admitted to firing a gun at Antillon as Antillon ran back to the red truck, “not knowing if Antillon had a firearm in his vehicle.” BCSO investigators say Antillon was not armed, and deputies did not find any weapons in Antillon’s possession.
The complaint explains the justification for the murder charge against Gonzales as the following: “Based on the surveillance video observed, Antillon, being unarmed, and the fact he was retreating at the time of the shooting, Gonzales was not in any immediate or imminent danger and did not have a justifiable reason to shoot Antillon.”
Investigators say Gonzales later refused an interview with deputies about what happened. He was booked in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) early Tuesday morning.
The victim, Antillon, was born in Los Angeles and moved to Albuquerque at a teenager. According to a biographic write-up on Central New Mexico Community College’s website, Antillon was attending the college and working as a “navigator,” helping new students with questions about CNM. He previously graduated from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque.
KRQE News 13 spoke with one of Antillon’s family members Tuesday, who described him as kind, funny and charismatic. The friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said Antillon was looking forward to becoming a father and had a baby shower planned for this weekend.
Here is a statement provided to KRQE News 13 from Antillon’s family:
“Baby Brother, yesterday you departed us, leaving behind a hole that seems impossible to fill. Yet, you left us a little gift pending in the womb. You had an infectious smile, full of charisma, a laughter that was contagious, a caring personality, a loving character, and impeccable form to detail.From family of Abner Antillon
You left so many plans pending. Most important you left a child without a father. Finally, being able to hold him as you wished. The feeling of being a father you’ll never know. The feeling of a kiss, a hug, a form of affection from a son to a father and a father to a son.
Just know that he will be loved, he will know who you were, what your values were, what hard work means, what love is, and what life is worth.
I cannot fathom this inescapable pain I feel. I’m aching, but I cannot cry. This causes me to question myself if I even loved you. I did, I do and I will. Those memories we had will be cherished. Will time slowing fade them out? Will I forget them entirely? Will I add various fantastical details? I hope I don’t. I wish I did. I just don’t know.
You were an honorable husband, an ideal son, a just brother, and a cool uncle.
You take a piece of my heart, you take part of my blood, you take part of my soul.
I had missed so many years together already. Now I will miss many more. You rest easy, you Rest In Peace.
Con mucho amor, Tu Hermano
“CNM is sorry to inform you of very sad news regarding a member of the CNM community. Abner Antillon, who was 35, passed away yesterday morning. He had worked at CNM since 2016, beginning as an Operations I employee. He served as a Lead Operations employee from March 2017 to October 2018 and as a Groundskeeper from October 2018 to June 2021. He transitioned within CNM and worked as a Student Services Technician from June 2021 to April 2022, then became a Navigator in April 2022. While working at CNM, he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of New Mexico. And he was a CNM student from 2016 to 2019, earning an associate degree in Integrated Studies and two certificates from the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety. Abner was passionate about helping students and he was fluent in English and Spanish, allowing him to serve a diverse range of students throughout their CNM journey. Abner was a highly valued employee and he was very well-liked by his colleagues and students. He will be dearly missed. CNM extends our deepest condolences to Abner’s family, his friends, and colleagues. This is a terrible tragedy. If anybody at CNM would like to access grief counseling, please reach out to our Employee Assistance Program provider ComPsych. You can learn more about ComPsych’s counseling services here or call 844-236-4493. You can also reach out to CNM leadership in the Division of Enrollment Management & Student Success.”Central New Mexico Community College
“He always put his family first and loved his wife, who is pregnant with his unborn first baby boy,” wrote another one of Antillon’s friends in an anonymous statement provided to KRQE News 13. “He was a very handyman and the true definition of a ‘man.’ Many looked up to him and loved him.”
Recent testimony in Martens trial
Joseph Gonzales was most recently an important witness for the defense in the trial of Fabian Gonzales, tied to the 2016 killing of Victoria Martens. Joseph is Fabian Gonzales’ older brother. Joseph Gonzales has never been charged or associated with the Victoria Martens case. He was only interviewed as a witness during the investigation.
Stories about Joseph Gonzales became key points of evidence for the prosecution during Fabian Gonzales’ trial. Joseph Gonzales was one of the last people who saw Fabian on the night Victoria Martens was killed. He was also in contact with his brother several times in the days before the girl was murdered.
In trying to prove the reckless child abuse resulting in death charge against Fabian Gonzales, prosecutors argued that Victoria Martens’ death occurred as a result of Fabian Gonzales’ lifestyle. Throughout the trial, prosecutors sought to highlight the importance of a fight Fabian Gonzales got into with a cousin at a BBQ party, days before Victoria was killed.
The fight is said to have occurred after Fabian Gonzales showed up to the BBQ party uninvited. Fabian received a black eye during that fight. After leaving, Fabian Gonzales and the cousin he fought with traded text messages for three hours, in which Gonzales challenged his cousin to another fight.
Prosecutors argued that the fight was the only significant event to take place days before Victoria’s death. They also argued that Fabian Gonzales sought to retaliate against the cousin he fought with. Phone records showed Fabian Gonzales called his brother more than 20 times after getting in the fight at the BBQ party.
Prosecutors alleged that Fabian Gonzales sought to return to the scene of the BBQ party fight with his brother Joseph. On the witness stand, Joseph Gonzales downplayed those accusations.
“What did you say about his proposal that you get involved?” Defense attorney Hugh Dangler asked Joseph Gonzales during the trial in July.
“I told [Fabian] [the people he fought] were just a waste of time– we’re not going to [get involved,]” Joseph Gonzales responded. “What happened was unfortunate, but regardless, you’re not going to go back over there, no one’s going to go take it any further, it was a waste of time.”
In some of the most contentious testimony of the trial, prosecutors tried to highlight Joseph Gonzales’ credibility on the witness stand by questioning him about alleged associations with a gang. Gonzales denied any involvement or association.
Fabian Gonzales was convicted by a jury on evidence tampering charges and a single count of reckless child abuse resulting in death. Facing between 18 and 44 years in prison, Gonzales is set to be sentenced in late October 2022.