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Police say a man trying to rob a 24-hour sandwich shop in Southeast Albuquerque was shot and killed by an employee early Tuesday morning.
It’s the second time in a little more than a week that an attempted robbery has ended with the suspect being killed.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said officers were dispatched around 5:20 a.m. to a shooting at Subway on the 1300 block of Gibson, near Interstate 25.
When they arrived, they found a man had been shot and was dead inside the shop.
“After preliminary investigation, talking to some of the employees at the business, it appears that the male had entered the business and attempted to rob one of the employees,” Gallegos said. “At that point, one of the employees fired shots at the robber and that robber was deceased on scene.”
He said it appears the suspect was armed. It is not yet known whether he was also a suspect in other robberies.
The employee was not publicly identified.
Outside the business Tuesday morning, investigators could be seen photographing the scene. One of the windows had a bullet hole and a black handgun could be seen on the ground nearby.
Media representatives from Subway did not respond to requests for comment. The store had apparently reopened by the afternoon and an employee who answered the phone said they were not interested in talking about it.
The shooting comes eight days after a similar incident near the North Valley. On the evening of Sept. 6, police say a man tried to rob a Tobacco Town on Fourth and Griegos NW, and was shot and killed by an employee. The suspect was found half a block away and died at the scene.
Gallegos said detectives are considering that shooting to be self-defense. As for Tuesday’s shooting, he said, it’s “too early to tell.”
“They have to identify the suspect, interview the shooter,” he said. “Once we get that information, detectives will know more.”
According to Journal records, detectives have determined seven homicides to be justified this year.
Gallegos said that, for whatever reason, cases where an employee shoots a robbery suspect happen more often at tobacco shops than at fast food restaurants. However, he said, they have seen armed robberies at other businesses on Gibson, near the airport.
Gallegos said the department is aware of robbers hitting multiple businesses. He said that is part of what Operation Turn the Tide – an initiative launched two weeks ago in the wake of a robbery suspect shooting three APD officers and injuring a fourth – is attempting to address. The operation includes temporarily allocating more resources to violent crime investigations.
“In the past few weeks, we’ve literally served dozens and dozens of warrants,” Gallegos said. “We moved a lot of detectives in to help with robbery and homicide because we’re looking for offenders who are tied to some of these homicides, or potentially tied to these serial armed robberies. We want to get them off the street.”
Journal city editor Martin Salazar contributed to this report.