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Neighbors say the man who lived in a white brick one-story home on a corner lot in a foothills neighborhood kept to himself.
Sometimes they’d see him doing yard work, although ivy and other vegetation seemed to have overtaken the home’s walls and yard. One neighbor said she’d brought him fruit from her trees to introduce herself when she moved in across the street. She said he was pleasant, telling her he mostly stayed home, and that his daughter came to visit now and then.
On Monday, police say, 52-year-old John Dawson Hunter was “suffering some sort of mental crisis when he started shooting randomly at people in the area of his home.”
Police say he shot three people – one fatally – and three officers were injured by debris before they shot and killed Hunter in front of his house. Two handguns were found where Hunter was shot.
Alicia Hall, 31, was driving by when she was struck by gunfire. She died at the scene.
On Tuesday, shattered glass could still be seen in the intersection and by the curb where Hall pulled over. Neighbors said they heard she lived in the area as well.
Police flood scene
The shootings sparked a massive law enforcement response as officers flooded the neighborhood east of Tramway.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said investigators are still trying to piece together the sequence of events.
On Monday, Chief Harold Medina said officers were called to Montgomery and Tramway NE, near the James Dwyer Memorial Police Substation, around 2:17 p.m. That’s where they found a teenage girl – in a car with her father – had been shot. She was taken to the hospital and has since been released.
Medina said while officers were rendering aid to the girl they heard gunshots to the east.
Other officers went up the street and found a man had been shot in the leg. That man took himself to the hospital.
Then, Medina said, officers found a woman, later identified as Hall, dead inside her vehicle not far from Hunter’s home.
There some sort of confrontation occurred and several officers shot Hunter. He died at the scene. Police initially said two officers received minor gunshot wounds – one grazed above his eye, the other struck by pellets below the vest – but Gallegos clarified on Tuesday that there were actually three officers injured, but not from gunfire.
“It appears the officers’ injuries may have resulted from gunshots that struck a cinder block wall that broke up and sent debris in their direction,” Gallegos wrote in a news release. “It is not clear who fired the shots that struck the wall.”
He said detectives with the Multi-Agency Task Force are investigating to determine what happened.
By Tuesday late morning little was left in the area to hint at the chaos from the day before.
Less than half a block from where Hall was killed was a house featured in the fourth season of the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Filming wrapped up in August and the season has not been released yet. The home has been turned into an Airbnb.
Neighbors taking a walk nearby recounted hearing gunshots on their normally quiet street the day before and running back inside to call 911.
Hunter does not have any criminal history in New Mexico, according to online court records, and APD officers had not been called to his house before Monday.
According to online records, Hunter’s parents had owned the house since the early 1990s and he inherited it in 2014 after his mother’s death.