Slain homeless woman struggled with mental health issues - Albuquerque Journal

Slain homeless woman struggled with mental health issues

Angelique Manriquez when she was 16-years-old. (Courtesy Yolanda Gallegos)

It’s been less than a week since 38-year-old Angelique Manriquez was shot and killed inside a tent north of Downtown across from Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless in a spot where people congregate to sleep, listen to music and talk.

Wednesday afternoon, sitting on a bench next to a shopping bag of clothes, Lisa Hall recalled the night Manriquez was killed. Hall said she had been sleeping under a tarp in a makeshift tent about a block from Manriquez’s tent when she heard a car drive by, yelling for people to wake up and calling out an expletive.

“They threw a bunch of eggs,” Hall said. “We thought, ‘They’re going to come back around with more eggs,’ then maybe five minutes later, we heard four gunshots. It sounded like it was right by us. We all ducked when we heard it.”

Hall said someone came around to check on her and her friends.

In the morning, she learned Manriquez had been shot in the abdomen and had died. Police have not arrested anyone in the case. A spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department said they are still investigating whether Manriquez was targeted or was shot at random.

Hall, who has been living on the streets on and off since she came to the city in 2014, said she would say “hi” to Manriquez when she saw her using a computer or other services at Health Care for the Homeless.

Yolanda Gallegos, Manriquez’s aunt, said she hadn’t seen her niece in three years and was surprised and saddened to learn of her death.

“We hadn’t heard from her or nothing,” Gallegos said. “We thought she was doing good. We didn’t even know she was living out on the streets.”

Gallegos said Manriquez grew up in Albuquerque, the middle child of three, and started getting into trouble when she was a teenager. She said she had four children, ages 12 to 19, who live with their paternal grandmother.

Police reports and court documents indicate Manriquez had been struggling with mental health issues over at least the past year.

A report from January 2019 says she was yelling and saying she was talking to God or Satan. Her ex-boyfriend told officers she kept banging her head against the wall, and had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and possibly bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia.

In September, an officer wrote in a criminal complaint charging her with shoplifting that she was “screaming and appeared to be talking to people who were not there, stating she was married to Michael Jackson and he told her to take the items, so she took them.”

Studies have shown that about 50% of people who are experiencing homelessness report being victims of some sort of violent attack, compared with 2% of the general population.

“It’s 17 to 25 times more likely that someone who is sleeping rough or out on the streets without a home will experience this kind of violent victimization,” said Jenny Metzler, CEO of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. “We’re always shocked by it. It’s always tragic. We think about the families and think about the people who were connected to someone when we hear of someone on the streets who is lost.”

As for Hall, she said she has been feeling more afraid since the shooting.

“I’ve been nervous about walking everywhere,” Hall said. “Every time I hear a car drive by, I want to duck. I have been feeling unsafe ever since then.”

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