Cops Say Boy, 14, Killed His Best Friend's Sister, 13, Using His Dad's Gun. Now Both Are Charged WIth Crimes.

William Brown, Amber Archuleta, crime scene
Wiliam Brown (left) is behind bars after his son allegedly shot Amber Archuleta (top right) at the Brown family home (bottom right).NMSP, GFM, Google

New Mexico State Police say that four juveniles were at the home of the alleged shooter on the afternoon of July 28 when the host pulled out his father's pistol, pointed it at the victim, and then fired a single fatal shot.

A New Mexico teenager and his father have both been criminally charged after the boy allegedly shot and killed a girl with his dad's gun.

William Brown, 39, is charged with negligent making a firearm accessible to a minor resulting in death, according to records from the Taos County Detention Center obtained by Inside Edition Digital.

His 14-year-old son — whose name is not being released by authorities because he is a minor — has been booked into the San Juan Juvenile Detention Center and is charged with an open count of murder in the first degree and two counts each of tampering with evidence and assault on a police officer.

The victim is being identified as 13-year-old Amer Archuletta by family members.

New Mexico State Police say that the fatal incident happened on the afternoon of July 28 at the home of the alleged shooter in Questa.

Four juveniles, including the accused killer and the victim, where listening to music when the host allegedly pulled out his father's pistol, pointed it at the victim, and then fired a single fatal shot, according to police.

"The male then dragged the female’s body outside and returned to the residence," police said in a news release.


Brown arrived home shortly after the shooting according to Officer Ray Wilson, the spokesperson for the New Mexico State Police.

Police arrived on the scene soon after and were forced to surround the residence after father and son refused to surrender, according to Wilson.

The two were eventually apprehended by police after a 30-minute standoff, which Wilson said ended with the juvenile trying to punch the two arresting officers.

The two juveniles who witnessed the alleged shooting have not been charged with any crime.

Meanwhile, heartbroken family members of the victim are paying tribute to Amber and have created a GoFundMe to help her father with funeral expenses.

They are also now joining the fight for stricter gun laws and saying that this tragic incident could have easily been prevented amid the ongoing gun violence epidemic in this country.

"Amber was 13 years old when she was shot and killed on July 18, 2023, by her 14-year-old friend who she trusted. This friend had access to guns as his parents did not place their guns in a safe," says the victim's aunt Glenda Archuleta-Alnachef. "These guns were freely accessible to their children or anyone who entered their home."

The family says they are organizing a march in Amber's memory and will use any extra donations to "raise funds to help bring awareness to the Questa Community and surrounding areas" about new gun control legislation in the state.

Alnachef describes Amber as "a beautiful soul who touched the lives of everyone who knew her," and an "amazing" artist and musician.

"She was loved by so many and her death that could have been prevented is a tragedy not only to our family but to her community and humanity," says Alnachef.

Brown is being charged under the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act, which the governor signed into law in March of this year.

It is named in memory of 13-year-old Bennie Hargrove, who was shot and killed by a classmate at his Albuquerque middle school back in August 2021 while trying to deescalate a bullying incident.

The classmate who shot Bennie used his father's gun, and the new law makes it a fourth-degree felony for any gun owner whose weapon is used by a minor to significantly harm another person or themself.

There could also be more charges to come in last week's shooting according to Wilson.

“This incident is still being actively investigated by the New Mexico State Police,” he said. “Once complete, the investigation will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.”

Father and son both have yet to enter a plea at this time. A lawyer for Brown did not respond to a request for comment.

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