ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man charged with killing a skateboarder at an Albuquerque skate park is a free man. Friday, jurors acquitted Steve Beck of charges connected to the death of Cody Raver. For friends of the well-known Albuquerque skater, Friday’s decision was a hard pill to swallow.

Friends of Albuquerque skater Cody Raver are in disbelief. “It was so real,” a friend of Raver’s said. “I just was not expecting that. I really was anticipating a bare minimum of involuntary manslaughter.”

Friday, a jury acquitted Steven Beck who was accused of killing Raver at Los Altos Skate Park more than two years ago. Witnesses said Beck accused a group of men of selling drugs to kids at the park. Police said a fight broke out and Beck pulled out a gun, shooting and killing Raver. The case shook the skating community and prompted memorials to be set up at the park. “A lot of people were upset and loved our friend Cody who was a pillar of the skateboard community in Albuquerque,” Raver’s friend said.

A lifelong friend of Raver’s watched the whole trial and described Beck as “remorseless.” The friend chose to interview anonymously. “Because that guy is real scary and apparently can get away with shooting someone and not having to face any consequences. The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement Friday:

This was a very difficult case to present to a jury because it involved a violent encounter between the defendant and other individuals at the skatepark. The encounter was not captured on video as the shooting was. Although we do not believe that the shooting was an act of self defense the jury disagreed and we respect their decision.

Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office

Raver’s friends said Friday’s verdict was a blow. “That sends a huge message that as a community, we are not valued I guess,” Raver’s friend said. “Or that this is something that should be expected from the skatepark which is totally not true. I don’t know how to reconcile that this is what our system is doing.”

The state dismissed the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Beck was acquitted of the two remaining charges, second-degree murder and battery. KRQE News 13 reached out to Beck’s lawyers Friday evening, but did not hear back.

Beck has been arrested two previous times. One time was for pulling a gun on a man at a bar in 2017. There was another from that same month when he was arrested for hitting a man at the same bar. The case was eventually dismissed.