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Suspect in homicide shot, killed during SWAT standoff

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

Tuesday morning around 9 a.m., police say, 30-year-old Arthur Lujan shot and killed his girlfriend’s ex-husband in the parking lot of a West Side apartment complex.

Arthur Lujan, 30 (MDC)

About 16 hours later, Lujan was also dead, shot by police after a lengthy SWAT standoff in a quiet neighborhood a couple of miles away.

That shooting, which involved both Albuquerque Police Department officers and New Mexico State Police officers, is being investigated by the multijurisdictional team that handles cases involving law enforcement.

Police spokespeople have not provided many details about the shooting, except to say that Lujan “exchanged gunfire” with SWAT team officers.

Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said the sequence of events began early Tuesday morning when a man named Anthony Sandoval called 911 to say someone had broken the windows of his Jeep at the Tierra Pointe apartment complex on Los Volcanes near Coors NW. He suspected the culprit was Lujan, who was in a relationship with his ex-wife.

Gallegos said officers responded to the call, wrote a report and then left. Their report was not made available Wednesday.

Around 9:15 a.m., Sandoval, 33, called police again, this time saying Lujan had shot him. Soon, several more residents of the apartment complex reported there had been a shooting in the back parking lot.

When police arrived, Sandoval was dead. His red Jeep was crashed on the sidewalk behind the last apartment in the complex.

“Upon the officers’ arrival, they discovered a male subject deceased inside a vehicle,” Gallegos said. “The male appeared to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds.”

Police said all signs indicated Lujan was the shooter, and by early afternoon detectives had traced him to a stucco two-story house in the 6700 block of Black Volcano NW, east of Unser.

Gallegos said when they found Lujan he was with his girlfriend (Sandoval’s ex-wife) and their infant child.

Court documents show the woman started proceedings to divorce Sandoval in Farmington in 2014, but the case was dismissed by party two weeks later. In February 2017, she filed for divorce again, but in March 2018 the case was dismissed due to a lack of action. It’s unclear whether the Sandovals were still legally married.

When reached by phone Wednesday, the woman said she was cleaning up her house after the standoff and shooting and would be available to talk later. She could not be reached again.

Court documents show Sandoval and the woman have a daughter, now 11. Gallegos said detectives initially were concerned about the girl’s safety after her father was shot.

“Detectives were concerned about the child, but she had been out of state since Saturday,” Gallegos said.

He said detectives got an arrest warrant and a search warrant for the home where Lujan was found and were able to safely remove three adults and one child from the house. However, Gallegos said, Lujan refused to come out.

“SWAT and CNT (the Crisis Negotiation Team) were activated and attempted to negotiate Lujan’s surrender,” Gallegos said. “During the attempted negotiations, Lujan exchanged gunfire early this morning with SWAT officers.”

Lujan was pronounced dead around 1:30 a.m.

By late Wednesday morning investigators could be seen combing through the home and streets. Pieces of a garage door lay in the middle of the road.

Kristee Maes, who lives a couple of houses away from where the standoff took place, said she was at home Tuesday afternoon when an undercover detective knocked on her door and asked if he could park his vehicle in her driveway.

Soon, she said, the street filled up with plainclothes detectives, officers and the SWAT team.

Maes said she heard the officers calling for Lujan to surrender peacefully throughout the evening. Eventually she heard several loud noises and the scene quieted down.

“I fell asleep for maybe a half-hour or so and when I went outside a police officer said to go back inside,” Maes said. “He said there’s a body right outside my house.”

Police would not answer questions about where Lujan had been shot or why his body was in the street.

Journal staff photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis contributed to this report.


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