Nikolai M. Mavashev, 19, of Hidden Farm Lane, Halfmoon, and Joseph A. Broscko, 16, of Linden Court, Clifton Park, each face one count of second-degree murder in connection with the death of David J. Feliciano at 44 Grove St., according to police and court documents.
Police on Thursday said they would not discuss the motive, despite speculation by neighbors that the shooting was related to illegal drugs, though they also did not rule out the possibility.
"They were acquaintances; that's all we're going to release at this time — longtime acquaintances," state police Major Robert Patenaude said during a news conference at the Mechanicville central fire station Thursday morning.
All three attended or were attending Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, according to their social media profiles, and Feliciano and Mavashev were Facebook friends. Feliciano wished Mavashev a happy birthday in a public Facebook post in December.
Patenaude said the investigation as of Thursday involved more than 150 interviews and was ongoing, with search warrants still being executed and the possibility of other arrests — though not for the murder, he said. He would not say what other types of charges might be coming.
"We're not going to comment on a motive at this point," Patenaude said. "There is a motive, and a longtime relationship between the people."
Feliciano, who grew up in Clifton Park and had recently moved to Mechanicville with his girlfriend, was found in his driveway following an 8:45 p.m. call to 911 by a neighbor. Police said Thursday that the shooting took place inside Feliciano's apartment, and Feliciano then went outside where he was found when police arrived.
Police would not say which of the arrested teens pulled the trigger or whether a murder weapon had been recovered.
"This is an active and ongoing investigation, so details will be minimal," Mechanicville Police Chief Joseph Waldron said. "We want to reassure the community we have arrested the individuals who committed this heinous act."
Police confirmed Thursday that Feliciano was shot multiple times. Waldron said he confirmed the shooting took place inside the apartment because of public speculation that it had been a drive-by shooting.
Mechanicville City Court Judge John Ciulla entered "not guilty" pleas on behalf of both defendants and set preliminary hearings in both cases for 1 p.m. Tuesday in City Court. Both suspects were being held without bail Thursday.
Mavashev, who spoke with a slight eastern European accent, initially answered "not guilty" when Ciulla asked for his name. He is being represented, for now, by the Saratoga County Public Defender's office.
Broscko is being represented by private defense attorney Matthew Chauvin.
A felony complaint filed in City Court by Mechanicville Police Lt. William J. Rabbit indicated Malashev was arrested based on "a police investigation and oral admissions." Police would not, however, call those admissions a confession on Thursday.
There was no reference in court documents to Broscko making oral admissions, with the felony complaint stating only that he was arrested based on "a police investigation."
Public Defender Oscar Schreiber, representing Malashev, indicated he might request a change of venue for any trial, based on the publicity Feliciano's death has received.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen said information was still being gathered, but "the community should be assured (the murder) has been investigated thoroughly."
"We will be bringing the matter quickly and swiftly to justice," she said.
Feliciano's death marked the city’s first homicide in 20 years, according to Waldron.
Because Mechanicville has only 20 police officers, Waldron said he immediately called for assistance from the state police Major Crimes Unit, which sent 20 investigators to assist.
Waldron would not say how Mavashev and Broscko came to police attention as they investigated, but he said both were taken into custody Wednesday evening, about 48 hours after the shooting, which took place on a quiet side street near a church.
The street outside the home remained marked off as a crime scene Thursday, with a police cruiser present.
"David had a love for many things, including music festivals, riding dirt bikes, BMX bikes, nature, gardening, animals and making people laugh," states Feliciano's obituary. "Above all, David enjoyed exploring and spending time with his family."
His mother, Bonnie Jones of Cohoes, would not comment on the arrests Thursday.
Calling hours for Feliciano will be from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at New Comer Funerals & Cremations, 181 Troy-Schenectady Road, Watervliet. A memorial service will be held immediately afterward at the funeral home.
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.