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The driver accused of shooting and killing a man in a road rage incident in Old Town last month has been arrested.
Joshua Butler, 29, is charged with murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Nelson Gallegos Jr., who was killed on Oct. 6 – his 52nd birthday – as he took his 7-year-old grandson to school.
Butler was taken into custody at his home Wednesday. Butler remained silent and stared straight ahead as officers escorted him from Albuquerque Police Department headquarters to the prisoner transport center.
It’s unclear who Butler’s attorney is and Butler’s family could not be reached for comment.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, witnesses said they saw two vehicles – a gray Honda Odyssey minivan and a dark pickup truck – being driven aggressively from Central and Atrisco “in what appeared to be a road rage incident.”
The witness then saw the Honda, driven by Gallegos, stop in the road near the Central Grill and Coffee House on Central near Rio Grande.
“According to the witness, he saw Nelson get out of the driver’s seat and walk around the rear of his van until a truck passed,” a detective wrote in the complaint. “Nelson threw a piece of drywall striking the front driver’s side of the passing truck (gray/silver Chevrolet extended cab truck). The witness stated a gunshot was heard and the male (Nelson) fell to the ground.”
Police collected security camera video from the nearby Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus station. The video showed the truck leaving the area with its window open and a male wearing a Denver Broncos jersey “holding an item that resembled a firearm.”
Crime Stoppers posted photos of the truck asking for the public’s help in identifying it and soon tips began coming in. A tipster said the truck belonged to a Joshua or Jacob Butler and detectives were able to find a Joshua Butler who owned a Chevrolet Silverado extended cab.
On Oct. 13, detectives executed a search warrant on the truck at Butler’s Southwest Albuquerque home and found four firearms – including a disassembled Smith & Wesson revolver – and a Denver Broncos pullover. A white substance that appeared to be sheetrock residue could be seen on the front driver’s side, according to the complaint.
When detectives interviewed Butler, he said he normally drives on Central past where the homicide occurred on his way to work, but on that day he took Interstate 40. Butler asked to have his attorney present.
However, police say a cellphone record warrant was completed and it showed that Butler was in the area of the homicide when it occurred.