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Suspected burglar shot dead in foothills home

Police say a homeowner shot and killed a man who was breaking in through the garage of a home in the foothills early Thursday morning.

Simon Drobik of the Albuquerque Police Department said that around 5:15 a.m. officers were called to the 400 block of Avital NE, near Tramway and Copper NE, for reports of a shooting and found a man dead from at least one gunshot wound in the driveway of a two-story stucco townhouse.

He said detectives interviewed a man and a woman who live in the home, and were told the pair had been alerted to a break-in by an alarm.

“He confronted that individual and some type of incident happened between those two,” Drobik said. “The homeowner fired at least one round in the direction of the person who was breaking into his house.”

He said the homeowners were interviewed and released from police custody.

The case will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office to decide if anyone should be charged.

“I wouldn’t want to presume yet where the charges are going, but at this point they’ve been released and they’ve been talked to,” Drobik said.

He said police have not identified the dead man and he did not release the name of the homeowners. He said there is no indication anyone else was involved or that the homeowners knew the suspected intruder.

Drobik said detectives believe the man broke in through the garage by pulling an emergency cord attached to the track. He didn’t know if he was armed.

“Detectives are seeing a trend that people are attacking garage doors in this way using specific tools to get that cord to open the garage door,” Drobik said. “It doesn’t make much sound and all of a sudden they’re inside your residence.”

He recommended residents tie or cut the emergency cord so it can’t be used to break in.

JT Vaughn, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was awakened by two gunshots early in the morning.

“When I heard the shots, I glanced at my clock radio and it was 5:25,” Vaughn said. “It sounded really close.”

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