Three Hispanic teens were charged in the beating death of a homeless man in Albuquerque.
Authorities say there have been about fifty such beatings in the area in recent months.
Albuquerque Police called it a heinous crime on Sunday, saying at least one of the suspects involved admitted that the group was targeting transients and have done it many times before.
Alex Rios, 18, Nathaniel Carrillo, 16, and Gilbert Tafoya, 15, are all charged with murder. APD say the three boys beat two homeless men to death in a vacant lot on 60th and Central early Saturday morning.
“Very heinous crime,” said Officer Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department.
APD is still trying to identify the two men who were killed.
While the crime tape has been cleared, what happened at the lot is something many officers won’t forget anytime soon.
“I mean, I was sick to my stomach,” said Drobik. “It’s just horrific … kids.”
According to a criminal complaint, the beating took place after the three teens said they came home from a party.
“They went over there with the intent to hurt these individuals in that lot,” said Drobik.
Police say someone called 911 after finding two bodies on a mattress behind a e-cigarette shop along 60th Street.
Police found the bodies and shortly after, caught up with a third victim who was alive but hurt after running from the scene.
“Really badly beaten, he was able to tell us that he had been beaten up in that area before and he thought he knew who the offenders were,” said Drobik.
According to the criminal complaint, two of the boys involved in the case live in this home just a few hundred feet away from where the two men were found dead.
Police then went to the home and quested Tafoya and Carrillo and their friend Alex Rios, who was said to be sleeping over at the home.
Officers saw blood on Carillo’s pants and then asked to search the home. According to the complaint, Tafoya and Carillo’s parents consented to the search.
Inside, officers found more bloody clothes and an ID card of one of the men thought to have been killed.
Police then interviewed the three boys. Each admitted to having a role in the beating the men, using sticks, metal poles, bricks and cinder blocks. Tafoya even told police that the group had been attacking Albuquerque’s homeless population at random for the last year.
According to the complaint, Tafoya also told police that he “estimated that they have attacked 50 people” in the last couple months.
Police say that an large number of unsolved homeless beatings is not on their radar right now.
“It’s hard getting some transients to come forward to express that they were victims of crime,” said Drobik.
Officers are now looking for other victims, neighbors are stunned.
“It’s horrible, that’s horrible,” said Charles Jones.
Jones, who lives in the area, used to be homeless. He says he’s not surprised no one has come forward.
“The homeless are not going to run and tell anybody because then nobody listens to us, you know?” said Jones.
He hopes people will step forward, though.
“They have to be held accountable for that,” said Jones.
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