Family, friends reflect on man killed in south Farmington

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Family and friends of Seth "Shine" Stallings described the 22-year-old Farmington man fatally shot in south Farmington on Wednesday night as a loving father who had recently turned his life to Christ.

"He was a young father, he was a good father, and he was a good friend," said family friend Leigh Ann Hines.

Rafael Velasquez, 17, was arrested on Thursday in connection to Stallings' death. Velasquez was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and larceny of a firearm, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Charges have not yet been filed.

A witness told police that Velasquez shot Stallings in the face at a residence located at 306 Sycamore St. at about 7 p.m., according to the affidavit. Farmington detectives have requested that the witness not be identified, citing concerns for his safety.

Stallings was a single father raising two young daughters, Isabela and Liliana, Hines said.

"His little girls loved him," she said. "They would wake up and watch TV with him. He was a very good dad."

Stallings worked as a roofer and did some side work — roofing, tiling and carpentry — with his father, Robert Stallings. He was a high school graduate, Hines said, but left college to raise his children.

Hines said the daughters, ages 1 and 2, are being cared for by Stallings' family.

"He was outgoing," Hines said. "I always said he was all heart — he was full-blown heart. That is why he found himself in troubled places, because he was full of compassion for others."

Stallings' family said Seth Stallings had accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior before he died. He devoted himself to Christianity while serving a six-month sentence at San Juan County Adult Detention Center.

"He is someone that you meet and you know that person has a purpose," Hines said.

Hines said she hopes that in death, Stallings' can help others find Christ.

Lacey Sanchez, Stalling's sister, said her brother was devoted to his family.

"My brother helped me all the time, with anything," she said. "He was very protective. He didn't like me talking to boys or anything. He was very protective."

The witness told police that he, Stallings and Velasquez were hanging out at the residence Wednesday evening, and Stallings was asking to borrow the witness' gun because he believed someone was out to get him. He said the gun was disassembled and sitting in the kitchen.

The witness said Velasquez walked into the kitchen, reassembled the gun and shot Stallings in the head, according to the affidavit. He then proceeded to laugh and run away with the gun in his hand, the witness told police.

Velasquez is being held without bond, according to the affidavit.

Sanchez said the news of her brother's death was not surprising, but it was tragic.

"It was a nightmare," she said, crying. "It was like I was in a nightmare. It was like it wasn't real."

According to court records, Stallings had several run-ins with law enforcement in the past few years.

He pleaded guilty in October 2011 to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, court records state.

In March, he was charged with false imprisonment and battery against a household member. A jury trial was scheduled to take place in November. In April, he was charged with burglary of a vehicle and petty larceny.

Stallings is survived by his two older brothers, Martin and Casey; a younger brother, Cristian Zellers; an older sister, Christina Stallings; Sanchez, his younger sister; his mother, Rebecca Sanchez-Zeller; his father, and his two daughters.

Donations to "Rebecca Zellers For Seth Stallings Donation Fund" can be made at any Wells Fargo location. The last four digits of the account — 2241 — need be included on the deposit slip. Donations can also be made to "The Seth Shine Stallings Memorial Fund" at

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him @SteveGarrisonDTM on Twitter.