Four held on $500,000 bond for Preble Ave. shooting death

Brown County Jail photos
Brown County Jail photos(WBAY)
Published: Feb. 23, 2019 at 9:26 AM CST
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The young man who was shot and killed Friday night on Green Bay's east side was identified Monday as Federico A. Abarca. He was 18.

Four young men arrested on Saturday are making court appearances Monday afternoon.

According to prosecutors at the probable cause hearing:

Jared Williquette brought a 9 mm handgun when they met over the sale of vaping cartridges with THC - a chemical in marijuana. Abarca thought it was a BB gun. There was a bullet in the chamber, and while Williquette and Abarca were talking, the gun went off. The four defendants fled to formulate a plan. When police figured out who they were and found them, Williquette was the first to come clean.

Police arrested Williquette on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery. The court set his bond at $500,000 and told prosecutors formal charges must be filed by March 6.

Colton Keho, 18, had a knife on him that night. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless homicide. The court set bond at $500,000. Formal charges must be filed by March 6.

Jarid Stevens was the driver. Police recommended a reckless homicide charge against him. Bond was set at $500,000. Formal charges must be filed by March 6.

"Jared Williquette pushed the victim's arm away, as Williquette spins to his right points the gun at the victim's chest holding it in his hand and fires. The victim falls back, he said he did not know who opened the door but the victim fell out as he drove off," said prosecutors of Stevens at the Probable Cause Hearing.

Gavin Rock, 17, eventually admitted to police he set up the transaction with Abarca and that the plan was to rob the victim. He initially claimed he was ice fishing at the time. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless homicide. He's also suspected of violating bail conditions. Bond was set at $500,000. Rock was visibly emotional at the hearing.

Chief Andrew Smith, expressed concern during a news briefing held Monday afternoon.

"This is a tragedy that affects probably dozens or probably hundreds or maybe even thousands of people are going to know about this. All because of what? Because somebody wanted to rip someone else off of a couple little vaping cartridges?" said Chief Andrew Smith. "I mean that's just beyond belief, I have a hard time understanding why anybody would do something like that, ruin so many lives and affect so many people in such a negative way, for something so silly."

A probable cause hearing will determine if they can be held while facing possible charges of intentional and reckless homicide. Supporters are packing the court hearing, where it's standing room only in the back. Some are wearing blue T-shirts with Abarca's name and angel symbols.

Officers were called to the 2300 block of Preble Ave. just after 11 p.m. They found Abarca in the parking lot who suffered a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Friends and family describe Abarca as an amazing person, and said he had goals planned.

"Just he was an amazing person, he really didn't deserve this at all, like there's no words to explain the person he was," said Bianca Lopez, Abarca's younger sister.

"He wanted to be a mechanic, he was actually looking into an internship, he was thinking about NWTC. He definitely had plans and goals for the future, he wanted to get rich with his homies and they just cut that short," said Kellen Johson, Abarca's best friend.

Action 2 News confirmed he was a student at Preble High School. Green Bay's superintendent released a statement to the Preble school community:

Police believe the victim knew the shooter.

Officers told us over the weekend they were not looking for other suspects and the community is not in any danger.

"Not only was his life ended unnecessarily but his whole family has been affected his school has been affected, his community has been affected and all because of the foolish actions, terrible, wicked actions of these four young men that chose to try and commit a robbery that ended in a homicide," said Chief Andrew Smith.