Martin Recio, 14, went to a Dion’s pizza restaurant in southeast Albuquerque on Friday night with his two close friends.
Before he left the parking lot in an ambulance, strangers were desperately trying to stop the flow of blood from his body.
Police said he had been shot by an assailant whose identity was still unknown late Saturday. They have not said why Recio was shot but did say that, at this point in the investigation, it does not appear to be a random crime.
Recio died of his injuries at University of New Mexico Hospital later that night.
His two friends had also been shot and were still in serious but stable condition Saturday at UNMH.
Recio’s family members told the Journal on Saturday that they had begun to worry about Martin when they hadn’t heard from him and he hadn’t returned from dinner.
So they began to call nearby hospitals, Martin’s older sister, Amanda Recio, said.
That’s when, she said, they found out the teenager had been shot in the restaurant parking lot at Gibson near University SE.
“My heart was ripped out of my chest,” Amanda, 25, said. “That’s my baby brother; he was so young. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
Officer Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said homicide detectives are still investigating the triple shooting. He said no one is in custody.
Drobik did not provide any descriptions of a suspect, but another police spokesman said earlier that officers were looking for a person seen fleeing from the area as the incident occurred.
Shortly before 9 p.m. Friday, police were called to multiple reports of gunfire in the parking lot of the restaurant. When they arrived, they found three people with gunshot wounds. All three were taken to UNMH.
By Saturday afternoon, the Dion’s location showed no signs of the shooting the night before.
In a statement on the restaurant’s website, a spokeswoman said the safety of their employees and customers is their highest priority.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved,” said Deena Crawley, Dion’s marketing director.
Amanda described her younger brother as a good kid, with a great personality, who got along with just about anybody he met.
“He’s just awesome. I can’t say anything bad about him,” she said, holding back tears. “Just his presence, just having him around, we have so many memories.”
Martin grew up in Albuquerque, and although Amanda said he wasn’t attending school, he was planning to enroll in online classes soon.
She said he especially loved music and working on cars with their father.
“Him and my dad had an unbreakable relationship,” Amanda said.
She said she doesn’t know what happened before the shooting, why her brother was killed, or who is responsible.
“I don’t know the exact story,” she said. “I just know that my brother was shot three times – that’s all I know.”
Amanda said the family is shocked and angry over Martin’s death and hope the police catch whoever is responsible soon.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Amanda said. “I just want justice.”