ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Official numbers for Albuquerque’s deadliest year are ready for the morbid record.
Gilbert Gallegos, a police spokesman, said in a news release Tuesday that the department through investigation has settled on 82 homicides for the 2019 calendar year, by most measures.
Albuquerque had more homicides in 2019 than in any other year in the city’s history. The previous high was 72, in 2017. Another high mark was in 1996, when the city had 70 homicides.
“Every act of violence that takes a life leaves behind a family and friends, and is a tragedy also for our entire community,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller previously said. “… We not only have to have individual justice for those killers, but we have to stop a cycle that has been repeating for nearly a decade in our city.”
Official homicide statistics can change as time passes, Gallegos said. Sometimes further investigation into a death rules it justifiable, accidental or to be the result of other circumstances that can alter the crime data.
As it stands now, Gallegos said the department will report 81 homicides in 2019 to the FBI, the agency that publishes Uniformed Crime Reports for communities across the country. One of Albuquerque’s homicides – the shooting of a letter carrier on his route near Tower and 98th SW in April – will be a federal investigation and therefore, per FBI guidelines, not included the city’s data, Gallegos said.
There have been several changes to designations in other death investigations this year, Gallegos said. For example, one case from April has been ruled to be justifiable, and a “unattended death review” in a November is now being considered a homicide, according to police.
The police on Tuesday also identified the man who was killed Monday near Copper and Tramway NE. Emilio Salcido, 26, was found dead in a neighborhood east of Tramway after police were called to a shooting about 2:30 a.m.