Man charged in 2021 ABQ homicide - Albuquerque Journal

Man charged in 2021 ABQ homicide

Juan “Triste” Pacheco, 37, the suspect in the 2021 death of Joseph Morales is escorted by Albuquerque Police Department officers after being charged in the case. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

A man is charged with shooting two men, one fatally, during a fight late last year in an East Central neighborhood.

Juan “Triste” Pacheco, 37, is charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence, felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the Nov. 13 death of 19-year-old Joseph Morales.

Pacheco was arrested by Albuquerque police Tuesday evening and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Police responded around 4:50 a.m. to the shooting near Dallas and Copper SE. They found Morales, who was wearing a military uniform, shot to death in the driver’s seat of a crashed car.

Officers found bullet casings and spent shotgun shells in the street and followed a blood trail to nearby apartment. Several people exited the apartment before police found a man in the bathroom who had been shot twice.

The man who was shot, identified as “Romeo,” was hospitalized and later arrested on a felony warrant unrelated to the case. On Jan. 6 police interviewed Romeo and he told them Morales had come to the neighborhood looking for the person who “pointed guns at his friends.”

Romeo said an unidentified man who was armed challenged Morales to a fight and agreed to put his gun down. He told police Morales was winning the fight before the two wrestled over the gun on the ground.

Romeo said he felt a “burning sensation” before realizing he had been shot and seeing Pacheco holding a gun. He told police he also saw Pacheco shoot Morales as he got into the car.

Romeo said he “was confused” because then Pacheco, who he had heard wanted to kill him over “some friction with a girl,” helped carry him into the apartment. He picked Pacheco out of a photo lineup as the shooter.

On Jan. 18 police interviewed Pacheco and he told them Morales shot Romeo during a fight before he grabbed a gun from another man and shot at Morales. Pacheco said he “accidentally” shot Romeo twice and wasn’t sure if he shot Morales.

Pacheco told police he then carried Romeo to an apartment before running from the scene.

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