Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
A man’s apparent attempt to help a woman accused of stealing liquor at a Northeast Heights grocery by ramming a Jeep into the store did not end well.
A security guard shot and killed the man Wednesday night after he rammed the entrance to the Albertsons at Lomas and Juan Tabo with a teal Jeep, knocking down a tree and striking the guard in the process, according to the Albuquerque Police Department.
APD spokesman Tanner Tixier said officers believe the man was trying to free a woman who store employees say had been caught trying to steal liquor.
He said the security guard is cooperating with police and is not expected to face charges. Tixier did not provide the security guard’s name or identify the company he works for.
But Desert Wolf Security confirmed the guard was one of its employees. The company declined to comment further.
Tixier said officers responded to the shooting at the Albertsons around 11 p.m. Wednesday. They found a man with a bullet wound, and he died at the hospital.
“Some sort of altercation ensued inside the Albertsons between a loss prevention officer and a female who was attempting to steal liquor,” he said.
Tixier said a man in the parking lot, possibly the woman’s accomplice, rammed the SUV into the doors of the Albertsons “multiple times,” taking down a nearby tree and striking the security guard.
“The on-site security guard then discharged his weapon, shooting the individual, subsequently killing him,” Tixier said.
Tixier said that police took a woman into custody but that the security guard, who was taken to a hospital for his injuries, had not been able to identify her as the alleged shoplifter.
Court records show that a woman was arrested in a nearby parking lot for possession and concealing her identity after police found more than 6 grams of methamphetamine on her. The arresting officer says in the affidavit that the woman may have been the Albertsons shoplifter.
Tixier said the shooting will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review as a possible justifiable homicide.
Two mobile crime labs and several police vehicles dotted the Albertsons parking lot. Near the entrance, a teal Jeep could be seen near a fallen tree. Also nearby, the front doors of the Albertsons had been bashed in.
A corporate spokesperson for Albertsons released a statement Thursday saying the company is “deeply saddened” by the incident and offers its condolences to “all parties” involved.
“As the Albuquerque Police Department completes their investigation, we will defer questions about the details of the incident to them,” the release said.