Police are investigating a fatal shooting during a robbery gone awry at a southwest Albuquerque smoke shop on Friday.
Officers were called to the Full Spectrum Smoke Shop in a strip mall on Sage and 98th SW shortly before 4 p.m. after shots were fired. When they arrived, a man believed to be the robbery suspect was dead, police said. Police said it’s unclear who shot the suspect and a homicide investigation is taking place.
Police as of 11:45 p.m. had not released the name of the man killed.
An employee at the Boost Mobile shop a few doors down from the smoke shop said he heard three or four gunshots in the afternoon during his shift. “It wasn’t very many,” said the employee, who declined to give his name.
The store clerk’s cousin, Jessica Baumeister, feared for her relative’s life as soon as she heard about the shooting.
“I was scared. I immediately thought that possibly (he) could have been shot, that something horrible could have happened,” Baumeister told KOAT-TV.
The clerk always carries a gun with him, she said.
“You know, just the world we live in now, I mean, he’s always prepared to defend his family, his friends, and himself,” Baumeister told the television station. “… It’s unfortunate when things have to end this way.”
Hours after the shooting, the entire strip mall was cordoned off by police tape, though several shops, including a Mexican restaurant, kept their “open” signs turned on.
Across the street, Walmart shoppers stopped to stare at the police activity before leaving.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal