Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
Cody Guy Wrathall, 43, grew up on a small ranch in Erda, Utah, and spent the past 17 years working as a veterinarian for large animals – primarily horses – in the northern part of that state.
Last week the father of three changed his voice mail greeting to say he would be unavailable from June 6 through June 12. The greeting doesn’t say where he was going, or why.
But it turns out he came to Albuquerque.
On Saturday night, police say a gun-wielding Wrathall followed a woman into a local brewery and was shot and killed by an off-duty FBI agent.
The shooting occurred at Nexus Brewery and Restaurant, near Montgomery and Interstate 25, about 8 p.m. in front of a roomful of patrons.
Neither the FBI nor the Albuquerque Police Department has released additional information about the shooting, but an APD spokesman previously said a woman had called 911 to say she was being stalked by her ex-boyfriend and was at Nexus Brewery.
“The female’s ex-boyfriend or ex-husband showed up and brandished a firearm inside the bar,” officer Simon Drobik said Saturday night. “The agents saw that and stopped his actions basically by shooting. The individual was transported to the hospital and is deceased.”
Another APD spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, said they’re still investigating the shooting to determine exactly what happened. The FBI agent has not been charged.
“Because the investigation is active, I can’t discuss the details,” Gallegos wrote in an email.
A team of agents from the FBI’s Inspection Division is assisting APD with the investigation.
Wrathall does not have a criminal history in New Mexico, and according to the Daily Herald in Utah, he has only faced a traffic misdemeanor in the state.
However, the Journal has learned that in the fall of 2018, Wrathall was publicly disciplined by Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing for a June incident in which he allegedly overdosed on ketamine and Valium he got from a veterinary clinic, according to a complaint.
“Respondent had attempted to treat himself for depression and anxiety with the Ketamine and Valium,” according to the disciplinary documents. “While Respondent has been diagnosed and treated for depression and anxiety, Respondent did not possess a valid prescription for the Ketamine or Valium. Respondent obtained the Ketamine and Valium from a former veterinary practice that was dissolved in 2017.”
He admitted to the infraction and received a public reprimand over it in September.
On Monday, news of Wrathall’s death spread to his family, friends and clients who mourned his passing in Facebook posts.
In a public post, Wrathall’s sister shared a video of her brother goofing around on playground equipment, calling him the life of the party.
“Loved his kids and his family with all his (heart). Loved his clients and their animals with everything. Please don’t remember my brother from what you may have ‘heard’. We all have our demons but his now has wings! I love you Cody!” she wrote.
According to a March 2017 bio on the Facebook page of the South Valley Equine veterinary clinic in Saratoga Springs where Wrathall worked, he had three children and followed in his grandfather’s footsteps.
A woman who answered the phone at the clinic Monday declined to comment, saying, “We’re all trying to wrap our heads around it.”