Police investigate five homicides in six days - Albuquerque Journal

Police investigate five homicides in six days

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

An employee at a West Side Albuquerque motel was cleaning rooms Wednesday morning and stumbled upon the victim of what police say is the city’s fifth homicide in six days.

Officers arrived at the Econo Lodge at Iliff and Coors NW around 11:30 a.m. and quickly determined the man had been killed, said Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.

He didn’t identify the man or say how he died but said they are investigating it as a homicide.

“Because of the condition of the room and the way the body was discovered, that was deemed to be a full homicide callout,” Drobik said.

This makes five slayings in six days in Albuquerque, and the 15th reported this year. In addition, police determined three other homicides to have been justifiable.

The city had 13 homicides – with two of them ruled justifiable – by this time last year, when Albuquerque tallied the highest homicide numbers in recent history.

“We don’t know what’s going on. I’m not sure why people are committing violence against each other. It’s very unsettling,” he said. “We’re asking the public to calm down.”

Alongside a plea for peace in the streets, Drobik said detectives are asking anyone with information about the homicide cases to come forward.

“There’s always somebody that saw something, or social media, or someone is talking about it,” he said. “Those little pieces of information crack these cases wide open.”

Drobik wouldn’t say if there are any suspects in the five cases but said police are following all leads.

“As of right now, there seems to be no connection with these homicides,” Drobik said, “which probably makes it more troubling, as a city, because they are five stand-alone homicides that happened in six days.”

The flurry began Friday night when officers responded to a shooting at the Villa Hermosa apartment complex near Coors and Quail NW and found the body of 42-year-old Adrian Johnson in the parking lot.

By Sunday morning, detectives were investigating a second homicide after officers found a man’s body with “massive trauma” lying in landscaping rocks on Menaul NE just west of Interstate 25. That man is believed to have been homeless and has not been identified.

Later that night, police were called to a fight in a neighborhood near Central and Wyoming NE, and found Alexander Begay, 27, dead at the scene.

Then, on Monday night, officers were called to the Smith’s grocery store near Constitution and Carlisle NE, where they found a man shot to death in a neighboring alley. Police have not publicly identified him.

During that incident, which began in the Smith’s parking lot, Drobik said a bullet lodged in the car of an 18-year-old girl, missing her head by a “couple inches” and leaving detectives expressing concern that this recent rash of homicides could have caused a bystander to be injured or killed.

He said the department is “strapped” with detectives working “around the clock” between crime scenes and attending court hearings for an ongoing homicide case.

Drobik said there are currently five incoming homicide detectives shadowing the original five during the investigations.

“We’re working really, really hard to solve these crimes, trying to keep the public safe,” he said.

Drobik said police cannot “saturate” an area for homicides as they do to find stolen cars.

“Unfortunately, we can’t run any kind of (tactical) plans or intervention on homicides,” he said. “They’re kind of spontaneous.”

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Police investigate five homicides in six days


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Supreme Court sided Monday with ... The Supreme Court sided Monday with a high school football coach from Washington state who sought to kneel and pray on the field after ...
2
NM department heads, others didn't disclose financial info
ABQnews Seeker
Elected officials, the leaders of state ... Elected officials, the leaders of state agencies and certain other appointees are required to file annual disclosures
3
New Mexico paid sick leave law set to take ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Healthy Workplaces Act applies to ... The Healthy Workplaces Act applies to all private businesses
4
How does New Mexico's paid sick leave law work?
ABQnews Seeker
Q&A about the new law Q&A about the new law
5
APD investigating homicide in Nob Hill area
ABQnews Seeker
Police say the person was found ... Police say the person was found outside
6
APD: 2 shot to death in west Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Officials says victims 'appear to be ... Officials says victims 'appear to be related'
7
Albuquerque local to compete on 'American Ninja Warrior'
ABQnews Seeker
Katie Bone, 16, also has chance ... Katie Bone, 16, also has chance to raise awareness for Type 1 diabetes on show
8
No license plate may mean a black-market vehicle sale
ABQnews Seeker
June 6 column reported 1,772 tickets ... June 6 column reported 1,772 tickets so far this year for no registration
9
Home equity deduction question has plenty of what-ifs
ABQnews Seeker
Q: I need to borrow money. ... Q: I need to borrow money. With the increase in the equity of my home due to the significant increases in the housing market, ...