Police say a “transient” gunned down a security guard in a hotel hallway and carjacked a man outside before getting into a shootout with the officers on his tail.
Hours later across town, two women fired at a deputy during a traffic stop after the pair tried to carjack someone in the South Valley.
The alleged hotel shooter, 43-year-old Donovan Bookout, surrendered to police and was not struck by gunfire. Deputies say the two women, Lizeth Iguado, 33, and Felicia Gonzales, 38, were found hiding in a mobile home after an hourslong manhunt.
All in all, it was a busy day for law enforcement. Neither the officers nor the deputies were injured in the unrelated incidents.
It started at the Ambassador Inn near Candelaria and Interstate 25 — with a homicide, carjacking and police shootout in quick succession.
The man police say was at the center of it all, Bookout, is now charged with an open count of murder, aggravated assault upon a peace officer, armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police Chief Harold Medina earlier described Bookout as a convicted felon with “an extensive criminal history.” Online court records show he has multiple arrests since 2014, including for allegedly shooting a man, smoking methamphetamine inside a Walmart and — in a similar incident to Tuesday’s — stealing a car and leading police on a chase while armed with a gun.
Most of the cases, aside from the drug paraphernalia possession, were dismissed for various reasons, including prosecutors not meeting deadlines and Bookout being found incompetent to stand trial in federal court.
Recently, Albuquerque police had been looking for Bookout after he allegedly tried to shoot someone inside a room at the Motel 6, near Interstate 40 and Carlisle.
When Bookout opened fire Tuesday morning in the hallway of the Ambassador Inn, according to police, he didn’t miss.
Medina said police were working an operation “proactively trying to address criminal activity” at the hotel when officers “basically drove up to a homicide in progress.”
A man flagged down officers around 3:15 a.m. in the parking lot and told them a security guard had been shot in the hallway, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Metropolitan Court. Police found the guard shot to death and numerous bullet casings littered the floor.
Court records state video surveillance showed the guard was making his rounds on the second floor when a man, later identified as Bookout, came from the stairwell and shot the guard with a silver handgun. Police said Bookout fled down the stairwell and was spotted by officers carjacking a man in a pickup truck near the hotel.
Soon after, according to court records, Bookout crashed into two police officers that were patrolling the area in their vehicles. Bookout continued to flee with police in pursuit and stopped in a parking lot.
Bookout got out of the truck as police pulled behind him and fired at the officers multiple times, according to the affidavit. Bookout fled on foot and again fired at police before at least one officer fired back, causing Bookout to drop his gun and fall to the ground.
Detectives tried to talk to Bookout after the incident and he told them “he wanted to talk to a lawyer.”
Medina said federal charges for Bookout are possible because he is a convicted felon and because of the carjacking. “Once again we’re going to use the approach of hitting this from as many directions as we can with the criminal justice system,” Medina said. “We’ll get what we can in state court and we’ll get anything that we can into federal court.”
The last time Bookout faced federal charges, in a 2015 carjacking and police pursuit, the charges were dismissed after he was found incompetent to stand trial.
Albuquerque police Commander Scott Norris said officers were already at the Ambassador Inn when the shooting occurred because they’re trying to address the narcotics, property crime and violence that often happens there.
Medina said Albuquerque police will “continue to investigate and work on trying to clear out the criminal element from this hotel.”
South Valley manhunt
The BCSO incident had the agency blaming the state’s “broken criminal justice system” for two women’s lack of “fear of prosecution” enough to shoot at a deputy during a traffic stop.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy wasn’t struck by gunfire and Iguado and Gonzales are in custody.
Iguado is currently on probation after pleading guilty in 2020 to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at or from a motor vehicle.
It began around 10:15 a.m. when BCSO responded to reports of an attempted carjacking at gunpoint near Coors and Pajarito SW, according to deputies.
Deputies tried to pull over the suspect vehicle, a black Jeep, soon after and were fired at from those inside.
BCSO said the Jeep was found abandoned nearby and the suspects, later identified as Iguado and Gonzales, were seen running onto a property in the 2000 block of Luchetti SW. Authorities surrounded the area and found Iguado and Gonzales inside a mobile home they had broken into on the property “to evade capture,” according to deputies. The search also left Pajarito Elementary School, Polk Middle School and Los Padillas Elementary School locked down until the women were found.
“Detectives are currently interviewing the suspects and compiling appropriate charges,” the agency wrote on Facebook.