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APD provides update on recent homicides

Albuquerque police homicide detectives investigate the death of a man at the Laurels at Uptown apartment complex in the 1300 block of Louisiana SE on Saturday evening. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department released details on three homicides in the city last week.

Gilbert Gallegos, a department spokesman, said detectives now believe one is a justifiable homicide and another a murder-suicide.

The first happened on Jan. 16 at the Manzano Mesa apartment complex at 700 Eubank SE, near Southern.

Officers responding to a shots fired call found a man and a dog shot to death inside an apartment. Gallegos said detectives believe Fernando DeLeon, 61, killed Reuben Baca, 63, and then himself in a murder-suicide.

He did not say which man’s body was found inside the apartment or where and how the other man’s body was located.

In December 2018, DeLeon was charged with battery after punching his neighbor Baca — who told police the two had ongoing issues — but charges against DeLeon were dismissed when an officer didn’t show up for a January 2019 hearing.

In the second incident, on Jan. 17, police responded to a home in the 9200 block of Black Farm NW, near Paseo del Norte and Coors, after a 911 caller reported that a homeowner had shot a burglar. Arriving officers found Felix Yazzie, 22, shot. He died from his injuries.

Gallegos said APD ruled the killing a “likely justifiable homicide,” and the case has been turned over to the district attorney for review.

Then, on Jan. 18, police responded around 4 p.m. to the Laurels at Uptown apartment complex on Louisiana NE, near Constitution, after someone reported their neighbor was injured.

Officers found 36-year-old Justin Correa at his neighbor’s apartment and he died from his injuries.

“Detectives have interviewed several people related to this case, and have not identified a suspect at this time,” Gallegos said. “The cause of death has not been determined.”

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