The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Grieder
Staff writer 

Dylan McKay had a lot of 'best friends'

Portales comes together to honor homicide victim.


April 29, 2018

David Grieder

Mario Sena, left, and brothers DJ and Matt Martinez work during a car wash fundraiser Saturday in Portales for Dylan McKay's funeral expenses.

PORTALES - Less than two days after he was shot to death, Dylan McKay's people came out Saturday to raise some help for the family of the young man they say was always helping others.

Some of McKay's closest friends were together on a sunny afternoon in Portales for the second of two car wash fundraisers to offset his funeral expenses. Those in addition to an online fundraiser brought in close to $5,000 in a day's time, with cars and dollars still streaming in Saturday evening.

To those who knew him, the fast community outpouring only proved how well-loved he was by many in his hometown.

Mario Sena said he was at a funeral for a cousin in Santa Rosa when he heard the news of his best friend's passing. Police said McKay was killed around midnight Thursday by 22-year old Angel Loya.

"I didn't believe it at first. I was in shock," Sena said. "Me and a lot of people just want to help now."

McKay, 24, grew up in Portales and had worked most recently in construction since graduating high school. He loved to ride motorcycles and play pool, and followed Lebron James and the Dallas Cowboys, said his friends.

"He was a very social, outgoing guy. He got along with everybody," said Raymond Martinez. "He's my best friend. He's all of our best friends."

Kristen Ashmore said she knew McKay the past 10 years and had been seriously involved with him the past two months.

"He was one of the most fun guys. He could make anyone smile," she said. "Always happy and hated to see anybody cry."

Mario Montoya called McKay a "humble, big-hearted" guy and said his death was a "situation that shouldn't have happened."

The situation that night, according to police records, is that McKay was killed by a single gunshot to his back right shoulder, fired by Loya, who is the father of Ashmore's daughter.

Records show Loya initially told Portales police he shot McKay in self-defense while McKay tried to enter an apartment on the 2000 block of South Avenue I. Loya also told police "that he did know Dylan threatened to come to the house to fight him," according to an affidavit for arrest warrant filed Friday in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court.

"Mr. Loya stated he had issues with Dylan over dating his ex-girlfriend, Kristen Ashmore, and that he did not want or intend to kill Dylan but stated that 'it just happened' and stated he should not have gotten the gun and should not have shot Dylan," the report read.

Loya was booked into the county's detention center just before noon Friday on an open count of murder, with bond denied. He is scheduled for his first court appearance Monday afternoon, and District Attorney Andrea Reeb said her office will move to hold him without bond and will take his case before the grand jury within 10 days.

Ashmore said the tragedy shocked her on multiple levels.

"My daughter lost her dad, and I lost the love of my life," Ashmore said.

Her daughter Aubriauna was critically injured last summer after she was left in a hot car outside her daycare in Portales. The child is doing well, Ashmore said, but "not understanding what's happening," with the recent events.

"Every person in this town had a bond with (McKay)," she said. "Everyone's heartbroken. It's very tragic."

"If you only knew him for five minutes, he'd put a smile on your face," Montoya said. "Always going out of the way to help other people."


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