CRIME

Farmington Police: Suspect in weekend shooting charged with 2nd degree murder

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – The Farmington man accused of shooting another man nine times after an argument near the entrance to a shopping center parking lot on East Main Street on July 23 was charged with murder, Farmington police announced July 25.

Police accuse 21-year-old Guillermo Humberto Aguirre IV of Farmington with shooting and killing 43-year-old Brandon York of Farmington after a verbal dispute turned heated. A court document states that Aguirre pulled out a taser and then a gun as the man he was arguing with threw rocks.

Aguirre told police the man told him he had a gun, and Aguirre said he thought the man was reaching for it, according to the arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case. No gun was found on the man’s body, the document stated.

“Based on the crime scene, witness statements and video recording, Guillermo Aguirre shot Brandon York 9 times with a 9 mm handgun at close distance within 7 to 8 feet,” the arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case states. “Eight of the shots were fired when Brandon York was seated on the ground exposing his left side to Guillermo Aguirre and 5 of rounds (sic) penetrated Brandon York's back.

A preliminary examination was set for Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. in the San Juan County Magistrate Court in Farmington.No attorney of record was listed for Aguirre, who was to be held without bond until a hearing, according to the arrest warrant issued and served on July 24.

A flowering plant was left July 24 at the site of a July 23 shooting that killed a man near the intersection of East Main Street and Plaza Center in Farmington.

“Through investigation, detectives learned that Aguirre has a landscaping business and frequently hires individuals who panhandle in the area,” police said in a news release.

Aguirre went to the location to find workers when he encountered York, police said.

Police said in the release that a confrontation ensued “which ended when Aguirre pulled out a handgun and shot York numerous times.”

Officers responded to reports of the shooting around 6:23 p.m. and heard from the reporting party that the shooter left the area in a blue Ford Ranger pickup truck and headed eastbound toward a Home Depot store. The incident was captured on video by a bystander.

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The arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case states that off-duty Farmington Police Officer Alfonso Sifuentes was in the area and “heard the gunshots in the vicinity of Safeway and he drove towards the area of the gunshots.”

The document states that Sifuentes saw “two white males running at an urgent pace towards a blue pickup. One male got into the driver seat and the second male got in back of the truck bed. The driver was fiddling around with something in his hand around his waistband.” He followed the vehicle, providing updates to police dispatch on its location.

Another Farmington officer saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle turn onto East 30th Street, then that vehicle was stopped near East 30th Street and College Boulevard, the affidavit states.

The driver was identified as Aguirre, according to the news release. Aguirre and two passengers, both Farmington residents, were taken to the police station, and the passengers were released after questioning.

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Police collected varying accounts of the details of the confrontation, which some witness accounts say escalated after York allegedly threw food into another person’s basket. After showing a taser did not diffuse the confrontation, the court affidavit stated that Aguirre pulled out his Taurus G-2 9 mm handgun.

According to Farmington Police Detective Daven Badoni’s description of a video recorded at the scene of the shooting, included in a court document, “Guillermo is holding a gun in his right hand behind his back. York throws a rock at Guillermo with his right hand and Guillermo turns his body to the left to avoid getting hit by the rock (unknown of where rock landed and not visible in recordings). The Taser is visible in Guillermo's left hand as he turns away from York. Guillermo points the firearm at York with his right hand as York secured the backpack to his right shoulder as he faced Guillermo.

“Guillermo shoots York once (right arm extended and used right hand only to hold firearm) and York immediately goes to the ground and falls onto his buttocks as his body faces toward northwest direction giving Guillermo a side view of his left shoulder (legs positioned in northwest direction). York uses his left land to brace his fall while his right hand is still holding the backpack at his right shoulder. Guillermo lowers the gun to the ground and takes 2 steps towards York.”

The affidavit then states that the person recording the video pointed the camera downward and the video no longer showed images of York and Aguirre. The detective wrote that three seconds after the first shot, 8 to 9 shots are fired in rapid succession as the person recording the video yells, “Hey, l have you on camera!"