Albuquerque police have identified a gray pickup they believe was used during the fatal road rage shooting of a man who was driving his 7-year-old grandson to school Wednesday morning.
Nelson Gallegos Jr. was shot around 8:40 a.m. in front of the Central Grill and Coffee House on Central, near Rio Grande. In the car with him was his grandson, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman confirmed Friday.
It was Gallegos’s 52nd birthday. His death comes a year and a half after his cousin’s son was also killed in a suspected road rage shooting.
Alexandra Jaramillo describes Gallegos as a father figure and said she had lived with him for about 13 years since she was about 7 years old. He had been married to her aunt and the couple raised her.
“We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, he was super into church,” Jaramillo said. “He always had a smile on his face. He was involved in the lowrider community. He just had open arms to everybody around him.”
Gallegos was a former Marine and worked at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility AuthorityJaramillo said when he wasn’t working or at church he loved to go camping at a spot up in the Jemez. She said he was also an advocate against gun violence.
Family and friends held a candlelight vigil at the scene of the shooting Thursday night.
Kyle Martinez, the son of Gallegos’ cousin, was also the victim of a suspected road rage shooting. Martinez was 15 when he was shot and killed while driving on Central and Unser in April 2020. Kevin Metzgar has been charged with murder in that case.
On Friday, police released photographs taken from security camera footage showing a gray pickup they believe was being driven by the person who shot Gallegos.
Witnesses had told investigators there had been a confrontation between at least two people in different vehicles.
Security camera video obtained by the Journal shows Gallegos out of his car walking around and standing in the street next to the passenger side of a car. A gray truck passes by him.
That’s when, an APD spokesman confirmed, the suspect opened fire from the cab of the truck, striking Gallegos. He fell to the ground.
Gallegos died at the scene.
Jaramillo said Gallegos’ grandson doesn’t quite understand what happenedm but has been telling family, “Grandpa got shot and now grandpa is in Heaven.”
“He gave a description of what kind of car and how many people were in the car,” Jaramillo said. “Tourists and everybody came by right away, and saw he was in the car and took him to a nearby restaurant.”