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Police identify victims from recent homicides

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police on Friday identified those slain in three recent homicides and provided some additional information.

Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said one case is being looked at as a possible justifiable homicide and another turned into a homicide after a January shooting victim died in a hospital.

No arrests have been made in the three cases.

Gallegos said 35-year-old Esteven Lara was shot at a mobile home park near Wyoming and Zuni SE on Jan. 6. Lara died from his injuries at a hospital.

He did not say when Lara died or give any other details.

Gallegos identified Michael Sanchez, 34, as the man shot and killed during an alleged burglary attempt outside a West Side bar on Feb. 21.

Officers responded around 8:15 p.m. to the Effingbar and Grill, near Coors and Sequoia NW, after a woman called 911 to report a man breaking into her vehicle.

Police say security officers approached the suspect and “shots were fired.” Arriving officers found Sanchez wounded, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gallegos did not say who shot Sanchez or whether Sanchez was armed or give any other details.

The next night, Omar Echenique, 61, was fatally shot in Southeast Albuquerque, Gallegos said.

Officers responded around 9:50 p.m. to a shooting near Kathryn and Louisiana SE. But police say two men had already taken him to Davita Medical Office, and he was subsequently taken to a hospital, where he died.

“The total number of homicides for the year stands at 13. Two additional deaths are being investigated as possible justifiable homicides,” Gallegos said.

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