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One arrested in teen’s murder

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Gallup Police Officers were called to Ford Canyon Veterans Memorial Park, 908 E. Buena Vista Ave., Feb. 17 about 4:30 pm after park visitors reported that a person had been shot. Officers found Teagan Morgan, 15, of Gallup, unconscious behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Officers administered CPR and Morgan was transported by emergency medical personnel to a local hospital, where he later died.

Detectives interviewed multiple witnesses and reviewed surveillance footage from the surrounding area. According to a press release published March 2, they determined that Valentino Gutierrez, 18, of Mentmore, N.M., had approached Morgan to allegedly rob him. Morgan was reportedly selling electronic vapor devices with liquid that contained tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a compound derived from marijuana.

Gutierrez told detectives that he handed Morgan counterfeit cash, and then grabbed the vapor devices. When Morgan protested, Gutierrez allegedly shot him and then fled the scene with another person.

Gutierrez was arrested March 2 and booked into the McKinley County Adult Detention Center on the charges of Murder (a capital felony), Conspiracy (a capital felony), Armed Robbery (a second-degree felony), and two counts of Tampering with Evidence (a fourth-degree felony). His preliminary examination is scheduled for March 15.

Detectives are continuing their investigation. More charges may be filed against additional individuals as further information and evidence becomes available.

Staff Reports