Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
On Sunday evening, St. Patrick’s Day, 27-year-old James Porter and a friend called a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft for a ride.
They didn’t reach their destination.
Instead, police say, a fight broke out and the ride-sharing service driver shot and killed Porter by the side of southbound Interstate 25 near Montaño NE.
Porter, who worked for Hewlett-Packard in Rio Rancho, died at the scene.
The driver has not been charged, and detectives are continuing to investigate. They aren’t searching for any other suspects.
Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said that shortly before 6 p.m. police were called to the interstate for reports of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found Porter had been shot in the chest.
The other two men – Porter’s friend and the driver – had remained nearby and were taken to police headquarters to be interviewed. They were later released.
Drobik did not identify the shooter or the ride-sharing service.
The investigation shut down southbound lanes for hours while detectives combed through the scene and tried to contact anyone who may have seen something. A blue hatchback remained on the side of the road into the night, and Porter could be seen lying next to the driver’s-side door.
“Homicide detectives have multiple witnesses to interview, search warrants to execute and are continuing to seek witnesses who saw this event,” Drobik said.
One man who was traveling through town told the Journal he saw the shooting unfold as he drove by.
He said he saw the three men standing outside the car and watched as one man pointed a gun at two others. Then, he said, that man fired three times, hitting one of the men in the chest.
Porter graduated from New Mexico State University in 2014 with a degree in hotel, restaurant and tourism management, according to a university spokeswoman.
Clinton Martine, a friend from Albuquerque, said he met Porter five or six years ago playing volleyball.
He said Porter worked as an accounts manager for Hewlett-Packard and was planning to get his real estate license.
“He was a very motivated person,” Martine said. “I mean that not only in volleyball, but also his career. He was always striving for bigger, greater things for himself.”
Reached by the Journal on Monday afternoon, Porter’s father said he was talking to investigators and did not want to do an interview.
Drobik acknowledged that many rumors have been circulating on social media about the shooting.
“Once again, I would remind you that the Albuquerque Police Department does not work off speculation, rumors or innuendo when it comes to investigations,” Drobik wrote in an email. “The Albuquerque Police Department relies on witnesses interviews, search warrants and thorough and sometimes lengthy investigations especially cases that are as complex as this one.”