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Gunfight breaks out in front of day care center in Albuquerque

Officers investigate a scene on Montgomery near Carlisle NE Monday evening. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal)


Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

A bystander was hospitalized with a gunshot wound, a child was injured by flying glass and three people are in custody after gunfire broke out in the parking lot of a Northeast Heights day care center Monday evening.

Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said the child was cut by glass shards when a bystander’s vehicle was caught in the crossfire.

Drobik said the gunshot victim is in stable condition and appeared to be a bystander who was walking down the street during the shooting.

“Obviously, it’s very traumatic for everybody involved,” Drobik said. “This is some idiots shooting themselves up in the middle of the street while kids are getting picked up.”

The shootout occurred shortly before 7 p.m. at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Center on the 4000 block of Montgomery. Drobik said that as gunfire broke out, a car attempted to flee the scene before crashing into another car in traffic on Montgomery. No one was apparently injured in either vehicle.

Officers were able to immediately arrest one of the suspects from the wrecked car before two other suspects ran into the Canyon Vista Apartments across the street, where they then climbed onto a roof, he said.

The crime scene shut down several blocks along Montgomery near Carlisle and left many residents of nearby apartments stranded inside their homes, or outside for several hours, as police searched for the two suspects and cleared the street.

Witnesses described seeing the suspects armed with a shotgun and long rifle.

Drobik was unable to confirm if any firearms were found at the scene.

K-9 units arrested the two suspects around an hour after the shooting, Drobik said. He did not identify the suspects or say what they were charged with. It wasn’t clear late Monday whether other suspects are being sought.

“It is possible that we have an outstanding offender, but our main goal was to keep everyone safe,” Drobik said.

The scene was complicated, he said, due to the shootout occurring on a high traffic road, and the crowd of pedestrians, onlookers and residents inside the active crime zone.

Witnesses said they heard more than two dozen shots fired from the parking lot between the day care and a nearby apartment complex.

“I heard like 10 gunshots,” said Anthony Thompson, a resident at a nearby complex. “It was pretty loud.”

“I was stepping out about 6:45 and I heard a bunch of people scream and guns started firing,” said Lee Bisbee, who works at a nearby condominium complex. “I stayed low for a minute and I came out when the guns stopped shooting.”

Bisbee said he saw several people ducking and screaming, and running away from the scene. He said he saw a black truck with a blown out tire in the middle of the road and a crashed silver vehicle left on the street with all of its doors open.