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Albuquerque triple homicide linked to Aryan Brotherhood

Albuquerque police at the scene where Richard Kuykendall was arrested late Friday night in the foothills. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Richard Kuykendall (MDC)

Authorities have arrested the man they believe ditched a bullet-riddled car with three dead men inside in the parking lot of a Northeast Heights hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Court records say that the dead men were all members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang and that the man who walked away, Richard Kuykendall, has an “apparent association” to the gang through his tattoos and relationship to those slain.

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos identified two of the people killed as Brandon Torres, 44, and James Fisher, 41. He said the third man’s family has not been notified of his death.

Tactical officers with APD’s SWAT team arrested Kuykendall late Friday at a home in the 800 block of Eastridge NE, near Copper and Tramway. He was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

The 41-year-old Kuykendall, who also goes by Sky, is charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

In a criminal complaint drafted Friday by the FBI, an agent wrote that agents do not believe Kuykendall killed all three men but may be responsible for the death of one of them.

The agent said Kuykendall has an “impressive criminal history,” with 35 arrests in New Mexico and Massachusetts. The complaint relies largely on security video released by Peterson Properties of the shooting, which occurred in an alley behind Mario’s Pizzeria, near Cutler and San Pedro NE.

According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque:

The video shows a car pull up, and Kuykendall tries to get in the back seat when someone fires at him from inside. Kuykendall ducks and moves around the car as several shots are fired inside the car in different directions.

Kuykendall gets into the back seat and emerges seconds later and walks toward a dumpster. He then got into the driver’s seat, on top of the driver, and drove to Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital near Wyoming and Constitution NE.

Albuquerque police searched the alleyway and found a Beretta 9mm pistol at the side of the dumpster, where authorities believe Kuykendall hid it.

Security video from Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital showed Kuykendall pull up in the car, get out and remove his shirt. He told a security guard there were three dead guys in the car, paced around briefly and left.

Police found three men dead inside the car: Torres in the driver’s seat, Fisher in the passenger seat and another man in the back seat. The car was “riddled with bullets” and littered with bullet casings.

Officers found a loaded gun under the driver’s seat and an empty pistol that was “locked back” near the man in the back seat. At least one shell casing in the car was identified as a 9mm.

The agent wrote that gang officers at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center identified the three dead men as “validated members” of the Aryan Brotherhood.

Kuykendall had identifying tattoos associated with the gang, including a shamrock, lightning bolt and “white boy.” He also had a German iron cross on his chest. Kuykendall’s record includes separate arrests for assault and battery of a family member and battery with a deadly weapon, a baseball bat, in Massachusetts, and forgery, larceny and identity theft in New Mexico.

The agent wrote that the Aryan Brotherhood has 20,000 members and that the membership “extends beyond the prison.”

“Members on the street are required to remain loyal to the AB and to work to further the goals of the AB while in the community,” the agent wrote. “The AB enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members and associates by murdering, attempting to murder … and threatening those who violate the enterprise’s rules or pose a threat to the enterprise.

“Members are required to follow all orders of high ranking members. In particular, members are required, when ordered, to kill without hesitation.”

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