Police: Española High basketball player turned himself in after shooting

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ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – A high school basketball player accused of shooting a man in the head at a gas station has turned himself in, according to police.

The shooting forced the cancellation of the school’s basketball game over the weekend out of fear someone might take revenge on the team. Police think the shooting was over drugs. Even more frightening — they think the high school student was with his dad when they committed the drive-by shooting at an Allsup’s in Española.

The shooting at the Allsup’s gas station has people in Española shaken up.

“It’s very scary,” said Victoria Espinoza, Española resident.

According to Española Police, two cars pulled into the Allsup’s off Riverside Drive on Friday night, where a shot was fired near the gas pumps. The vicitim, 20-year-old Daniel Suarez, was hit in the head. He’s now in critical condition.

Espinoza was running errands Friday night and said she was actually on her way to that gas station, but saw police had blocked it off.

“We were going to stop there because my kids wanted chips,” said Espinoza.

Monday morning, a father and son turned themselves into police. According to Española Police, Phillip Baca and his father, Daniel, are being questioned by the FBI. They suspect this may be a drug-related hit.

But the age of one of the suspects is what’s most concerning to neighbors. Phillip Baca is a student at Española Valley High School. Sources also tell KRQE News 13 he’s a sophomore on the JV basketball team — and police think he may be a drug dealer.

“I think they’re young and getting introduced to things at an early age now,” said Adelina Diaz, owner of Treasures of Enchantment, a thrift store near Allsup’s.

Police said after “credible threats of retaliation” were made toward the basketball player on social media, the school district cancelled Española Valley’s game at Los Alamos Saturday night.

Diaz said unfortunately, she’s not all that surprised.

“I’m thinking about getting security.”

The FBI has now taken over the case because the Allsup’s is on tribal land. The father and son have not been charged yet.

There was extra security at the high school Monday just in case. The game at Los Alamos has been rescheduled for next Monday.

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