Three ABQ homicides reported in nine hours

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A man shot twice and found bleeding in the street dies at a hospital.

Two hours later, officers try unsuccessfully to save a man who has been beaten and shot.

Hours later, a person is found dead at a Northwest Albuquerque motel.

Albuquerque police launched three homicide investigations within nine hours Sunday night into Monday as the city continued on pace to shatter its homicide record.

The recent deaths being investigated occurred in three different quadrants of the city. Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, during a virtual town hall meeting with police area commanders Monday night, didn’t specifically address the recent homicides. But he did say that the police department was hoping that expanding technology, like shot spotter systems that alert police when a gun has been fired in a particular area, would help police fight violent crime.

“We’re slowly moving to get the equipment we need, which is going to make us very able to do the job that we need to do to combat this crime problem,” he said.

Cmdr. Art Sanchez of APD’s Northwest Area Command said the area he oversees is one of the parts of the city experiencing an increase in homicides this year. He said officers under his command are trying to be proactive to respond to the trend.

“We are working different (tactical) plans to address (homicides) by looking at our numbers and looking to see where we are seeing these assaults happening,” he said. “Several happened at parties. So (officers) are doing outreach to residents in those areas.”

Record pace

So far this year, APD has launched 56 homicide investigations involving a total of 60 victims – there have been two double homicides and one triple homicide, according to police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos.

The official number of homicide cases within a department’s jurisdiction can change as investigations unfold. Gallegos said a homicide case in the city limits last month is being investigated by New Mexico State Police, so it doesn’t count toward APD crime data.

The city set a record for homicides in 2019 with 80. By this time in 2019, there had been 35 homicides in APD’s jurisdiction, Gallegos said.

There were 77 homicides reported in APD’s jurisdiction in 2020, when much of the year was spent under pandemic restrictions. At this time in 2020, there had been 27 cases, Gallegos said.

Deadly night

The weekend’s deadly streak started at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, when police were dispatched to a shooting in the 500 block of Vassar SE, Gallegos said.

“Officers responded and located a male with two gunshot wounds (lying) in the street,” he said. Albuquerque Fire Rescue transported the male to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two hours later, officers were called to 129 Pennsylvania NE after a 911 caller reported that someone was being beaten and had been shot there, Gallegos said.

“Officers responded to the call and provided first aid to a male victim, however, he did not survive his injuries,” he said.

Then at 3 a.m., a person was found in a room at the Motel 6 at 6015 Iliff Road NW, Gallegos said.

“Officers located the deceased individual and requested homicide detectives to start an investigation as a result of evidence found at the scene,” Gallegos said.

Police didn’t immediately say whether the victim was a man or a woman, how the person died or if they have identified any suspects in the death.

“More information will be provided as it becomes available,” Gallegos said.

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