DAs want shopping center murder suspect held without bail, cite previous gun incident

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times
Farmington Police Department personnel blocked off Plaza Ctr. at the edge of a shopping center parking lot the night of July 23 as investigators worked in a taped-off crime scene at the other end of the short street near East Main Street.

FARMINGTON – Farmington police put 2 and 2 together and came up with a 4th degree felony charge against the man suspected of shooting another man nine times on July 23. The new charge stems from a separate weapons incident reported just two days before the fatal shooting.

Now prosecutors are moving to have 21-year-old murder suspect Guillermo Humberto Aguirre IV of Farmington held without bond until trial as a threat to public safety based in part on a gun brandishing incident that court documents say threatened an adult good Samaritan and his young passengers.

While the description of the truck involved in both incidents raised suspicion among investigators, court documents indicate Aguirre himself admitted under questioning that he was present during the July 21 incident on Foothills Drive when a passing motorist said the driver of a purple truck pointed a gun at he and his passengers after the purple truck ran off the road.

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

Assistant District Attorney Gertrude Lee of the Eleventh Judicial District sought an expedited motion for pretrial detention that was filed on July 25. That detention hearing is scheduled at 11 a.m. on July 28 before Judge Daylene Marsh of the Eleventh District Court in Aztec.

“The Defendant is charged with a crime of violence where he shot and killed a person,” Lee’s motion stated. “Immediately after the shooting, the defendant fled. Two days prior to the shooting, the Defendant pointed a firearm at a vehicle full of people. The vehicle was driven by an adult who had his 10 year old son and 3 Connie Mack baseball players with him.”

Aguirre, who is accused of shooting 43-year-old Brandon York of Farmington nine times following a heated argument on July 23, now also faces an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge from the July 21 incident.

Aguirre made an initial appearance in court July 25 by video from the county jail and was notified that prosecutors would seek to hold him in jail until trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said July 26. O'Brien said both cases are scheduled for pre-trial detention hearings July 28.

Motorist describes alarming encounter

According to the arrest warrant affidavit filed in court on July 25, a man returning from a Connie Mack World Series luncheon on July 21 told police “that an unknown male subject had pointed a gun at him, and his vehicle, which contained his ten year old son, and several Connie Mack Baseball players he was hosting.”

The man said he was driving north on Foothills Drive when he saw a purple Ford Ranger pickup truck fail to negotiate the roundabout, attempt to drive the roundabout in the wrong direction and ultimately wind up in a small culvert.

“He observed the driver exit the vehicle, and he observed a male subject that he described as a white male in his early 20's, wearing a black jersey, black shorts, and a black, backwards baseball cap,” the affidavit stated. “As the subject exited the vehicle, he pointed a gunmetal gray colored handgun” at the vehicle.

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The driver “said that he was scared that he, or another person in his vehicle would get shot, and he drove away as fast as he could so that no one got hurt,” the affidavit stated. The driver said he’d planned “to ask if he was OK, but never got the chance," as the purple truck's driver got out of the vehicle "and immediately pointed the gun at him before any words were exchanged.”

Farmington Police Detective Brandon Hardy, in his arrest warrant affidavit on the weapons charge, wrote that on the day of the shooting at the shopping center he re-interviewed the driver who filed the July 21 police report about the man with the gun.

Hardy wrote that the motorist said he saw the driver of the Ford Ranger pickup truck “point the gun directly at him, and the truck he was driving. The passengers in his vehicle also saw the weapon, and began immediately yelling, 'Gun, gun, gun, Go!'"

Affidavit says shooting suspect admitted to involvement in Foothills Drive incident

Farmington Police Detective Daven Badoni interviewed Aguirre after the July 23 shooting and also brought up the Aguirre's possible involvement in the Foothills Drive incident two days earlier.

“Mr. Aguirre was read his Miranda Warning as part of this investigation. He is the owner of the Ford Ranger, and Detective Badoni asked him about the incident on Foothills,” Detective Hardy wrote in his affidavit. “Mr. Aguirre admitted that he was the person driving the truck, and he admitted that after crashing the truck, he had been armed with a handgun.”

According to the warrant affidavit, Aguirre said that he did not know the intentions of the people approaching in the other truck and he did not know them, saying he had the gun as a precaution.

“Mr. Aguirre denied pointing the gun at anyone, and said that he held the gun in both hands in front of his chest, and pointed it directly at the ground,” the court document stated.