Murder Charges

SFPD arrests one in South Capitol Rail Runner station shooting; officers looking for one more

Police have arrested 22-year-old Matthew Arellano of Santa Fe in connection with the shooting death of a 24-year-old and the alleged attempted homicide of a second man at the South Capitol Rail Runner station on Monday afternoon.

And detectives are looking for 20-year-old Travis Whaler for his alleged role in the incident "just to speak to him." He is not a suspect, though he does have an active arrest warrant for an unrelated case.

Witnesses at the scene describe an attack stemming from an argument over the price of drugs. Arellano says he shot both of the victims in self defense, according to court records.

David Hernandez, also of Santa Fe, died at the scene before paramedics were able to reach him. The second victim, Elijo Trujillo, 38, who was shot four times, was still in critical condition at a local area hospital as of Tuesday night. Police had previously declined to identify him.

Arellano has been charged with an open count of murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Officers arrested Arellano outside an apartment on Hopewell Street on Wednesday, according to court documents.

Around 3:45 pm Monday, several witnesses at the train station and nearby apartments describe seeing two men exiting a vehicle, one of them carrying a gun, and approaching the train platform where both victims were waiting. Arellano started shooting and Whaler is described as hitting one of the victims repeatedly, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in state District Court.

Hernandez had been shot twice on his left side and stabbed twice in the back.

Two other witnesses, a mother and daughter who talked to the victims before the attack, told police as they walked up to the train platform that they passed a young man carrying a skateboard talking on the phone saying, "They just jacked me," the warrant states.

The two females went up to speak to Hernandez and Trujillo. Hernandez said he had gotten into an argument with someone over the price of methamphetamine.

Hernandez told the mother and daughter that the young man wanted $15 for meth that he thought was only worth $5, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

A few minutes later, Arellano and Whaler got out of a faded, gray four-door Nissan Sentra and approached Hernandez and Trujullo, the arrest warrant affidavit says. The mother and daughter ran when Arellano started shooting, though before they left they heard someone say, "Who's the punk now?"

Surveillance footage collected by the Santa Fe Police Department from the station matches up with witnesses' descriptions of the attack, the court records state.

SFPD detectives drove around town until they found a car, registered to Arellano, that matched the description witnesses gave at the scene. Detectives saw a bullet casing on the dashboard and arrested Arellano when he exited the apartment to smoke a cigarette, according to the warrant.

Arellano had previously turned himself in to SFPD in an unrelated incident for a mental health evaluation after he fired a revolver in the apartment and said he was suicidal. It's not clear when the incident occurred.

When first questioned by police about the shooting, Arellano said he had lent his car to Whaler and another man and didn't know what they had done, the warrant says. After a detective told him law enforcement had video footage of the attack, Arellano admitted to shooting both victims but said it was in self-defense to protect himself and Whaler. He claimed that Hernandez and Trujillo jumped Whaler.

Arellano said he returned to the train station to confront the men and shot Trujillo after he tried to pull out a gun and then shot Hernandez because he had a knife and tried to stab Whaler, according to the warrant.

Police say they didn't find any other firearms or weapons at the scene.

Arellano's first appearance in front of Magistrate Court Judge David Segura is set for 1:30pm Thursday.

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