Affidavits: Teen killed near Storrie Lake mistaken for rival drug dealer

Affidavits: Teen killed near Storrie Lake mistaken for rival drug dealer

From the Las Vegas Optic

Roger A. Tait-Gomez

Sixteen-year-old Adelina Tafoya was killed by a gunshot to the head July 6 because she and her teen passengers were mistaken for drug dealers, according to affidavits filed in San Miguel Magistrate Court.

Nico L. Barela, 30, was arrested Friday by New Mexico State Police and charged with an open count of murder in the first degree, and multiple other charges. Barela was convicted of homicide by vehicle in September 2009 for the death of a passenger on a motorcycle during a crash in 2008.

Police are looking for Roger A. Tait-Gomez, 29, who also faces an open count of murder in Tafoya’s death.

Tafoya was driving a vehicle on Seventh Street July 6 toward Storrie Lake with five passengers — ranging in age from 14 to 17 — when a silver SUV began following them. Tafoya turned into several residential areas in an attempt to lose the people following them, but the SUV stuck with them, following them to the entrance of Storrie Lake. The teens exited the vehicle to see what the problem was, and the men in the SUV opened fire.

Tafoya was shot in the head and died soon after. Another 16-year-old girl was shot in the back of her head and is still in the hospital. And a 15-year-old boy was shot in the arm. Three other teens, ages 14, 15 and 17, were not injured.

Using security camera footage from businesses and homes, State Police investigators were able to identify the SUV, which led them to Barela and Tait-Gomez. The silver Nissan Pathfinder registered to Tait-Gomez was located at the Monte Vista apartments on Mountain View Drive. An employee of the apartments told police they’d seen a man drop the SUV off and take some items from it before being picked up by someone in a car. The employee told police Tait-Gomez often visited an apartment in the complex. Investigations interviewed those at the apartments and were given names of several people possibly involved in the shooting.