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A fight at a popular Uptown bar that erupted into gunfire left one man dead and three others injured late Thursday.
No suspects have been publicly identified.
Deputy Cmdr. Kyle Hartsock of the Albuquerque Police Department identified 30-year-old Lawrence Anzures as the fatality.
“This was an innocent life that was taken for no reason. No reason at all,” said Valarie Anzures, Lawrence Anzures’ cousin. “Whatever happened, nobody deserves to die that way and it wasn’t his time. It wasn’t his time.”
Hartsock said three others, including an employee of Ojos Locos Sports Cantina, were injured in the shooting but are expected to recover. Hartsock did not give any details on those injured.
“We believe only one person fired a gun (Thursday) night,” he said, later adding, “If anyone knows the person that committed this senseless act of violence, we also encourage you to reach out to us.”
Hartsock said police responded around 9:45 p.m. to reports of gunfire at the sports bar on 2105 Louisiana NE at Americas Parkway. He said APD learned an “altercation” started near the entrance of the bar before the shooter opened fire.
“We’re still trying to understand exactly what happened,” he said. “We’re not sure if it was a fist fight or went right to guns.”
Mario Cernadas, the chief operating officer for Ojos Locos Sports Cantina, said in a statement that the company’s thoughts are with the families and victims of the “senseless violence.”
He said they are thankful that “our employee and a customer” who were injured in the “random act” are recovering.
“We have several security measures in place to protect guest safety, and when this occurred, our security guard was in the process of escorting two parties that were fighting out of the restaurant,” Cernadas said. “A man linked to one of the groups then came through the front door and started shooting. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement in their efforts to find, arrest and prosecute this man.”
Hartsock said police are reviewing security camera footage and following leads but are asking for the public’s help. “Any small piece of information can help in turning this into a prosecutable case so that the family and friends of Lawrence can get the justice they deserve,” Hartsock said.
He added, “He’s going to be missed by a lot of people and right now we are going to focus on making that right the best we can.”
Dozens of relatives and friends of Anzures gathered at the entrance of Ojos Locos on Friday morning to lay flowers, light candles and grieve. They wanted the public to know Anzures was a good man and not tied to any gangs or criminal activity.
Valarie Anzures tried to hold back tears as she talked about her cousin, a South Valley native and one of three siblings. She said her cousin enjoyed boxing and worked as a car salesmen, adding that his boss was with him when the shooting occurred.
“He didn’t deserve this at all,” Anzures said. “He was a good person. Anybody who knew him, he shined. He was well-known everywhere he went, everywhere.”
“To the person who did this,” she said, “there will be justice.”
Journal staff writer Elise Kaplan contributed to this report.