Santa Fe police still searching for teen suspected in shooting

May 1, 2019

A 16-year-old Santa Fe boy wanted in connection with the early Monday shooting of his mother’s boyfriend at a midtown apartment complex was involved in another shooting incident at the same complex last year, a police report says.

Hunter Woods fled in his mother’s car following Monday’s shooting just after midnight at Avaria of Santa Fe Apartments, 1896 Lorca Drive, and was still at large Tuesday, according to police.

The 39-year-old boyfriend, whom police did not identify, was shot in the abdomen during an argument and remained in critical but stable condition at a local hospital Tuesday, police said.

A 2018 incident reportedly involving a fight at the apartment complex between Woods, then 15, and an 18-year-old man, resulted in the 18-year-old firing two or three gunshots into the air, a police report said. No one was arrested in the incident, nor was anyone apparently injured.

The report says officers were called to the apartment complex at about 11 p.m. Sept. 20 after multiple witnesses heard gunshots in the area.

Maintenance workers at the complex told police that Woods had told them about a half-hour before the shooting that “some guys were out to get him,” the report said. Following the gunshots, the boy was seen running shirtless from the entrance to his apartment.

A man identified in the report as “Transito,” who was later interviewed by police, said he had driven two friends to the apartments that night to fight Woods, who was known as “Pablo,” according to the report. The driver’s girlfriend, who also lived at the apartments, told police Pablo had previously threatened to fight her boyfriend and “would be sitting across the parking lot staring at them” when she and her boyfriend would enter and leave their apartment.

Transito told police that an 18-year-old friend of his, identified in the report as “Kiko,” and Woods had agreed to fight each other that night and that during the fight, Woods yelled, “I’m going to kill all of you,” the report said. Then Kiko pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired several times into the air, Transito told police. The three friends then drove off.

Following Monday’s shooting, police issued an arrest warrant for Woods on suspicion of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

According to Deputy Chief Ben Valdez, there had been “some sort of disagreement or family dispute,” and Woods shot his mother’s boyfriend with a shotgun. The exact circumstances remain unknown.

“I think we need to talk to Hunter first,” Valdez said.

Police also are investigating accounts that Woods had come to his mother’s defense during the argument, though she did not sustain any injuries and police have not been able to corroborate that account, according to Valdez.

“We’re asking that he turn himself in so that we can get his side of what happened,” Valdez said.

Police were unsure if Woods’ mother, who reported the shooting to police, has since been in contact with her son.

“We don’t know,” Valdez said. “If she is, we’re hoping she can encourage him to turn himself in. She did call in the reports, but with things like this, they’re pretty complex.”

A police spokesman said Monday that Woods is a student at Santa Fe High School. A Santa Fe public schools spokesman, citing federal law, would not confirm any information about Woods on Tuesday.

The tampering with evidence charge relates to Woods allegedly hiding, changing or destroying the weapon, according to Valdez, who said ammunition found at the scene indicated it was a shotgun.

Woods is believed to still have the firearm, and police have called him “armed and dangerous.” He is believed to be driving a silver 2016 Kia sedan with the New Mexico license plate 890SXN. Police asked that anyone with information call 911 or contact Sgt. Bryan Martinez at 505-955-5226.

The Avaria of Santa Fe Apartments were the scene of a homicide last year when 58-year-old Michael Willms was found stabbed to death in his apartment June 21. Willms’ homicide has not been solved.