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Three people were shot to death – including two teenagers – in the parking lot of a northwest Albuquerque shopping center on Mother’s Day in an attack that left bodies on the asphalt next to a busy road.
Police believe the shooter, a 53-year-old man, committed suicide after shooting a 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. The shooting occurred outside of the Party City near Cottonwood Mall on Sunday afternoon.
It was one of several shootings in Albuquerque over the weekend.
“All indications are that the shooter is on scene and did take their life,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina told reporters at the scene.
Officers were dispatched to the shooting at around 12:30 p.m. after a caller reported that a man had put a gun to his head and committed suicide in the parking lot.
“Upon arrival they found three individuals who were deceased or who became deceased,” the chief said. “We do feel that … there is no threat to the public.”
Medina said citizens nearby, including a nurse, pulled the male victim from a vehicle and attempted live-saving measures to no avail.
“There was a nurse on scene who was very heroic,” Medina said.
Gilbert Gallegos, a police spokesman, said the preliminary investigation suggests the older man knew both the young victims, and detectives are investigating the man’s history with the female victim and her family.
They didn’t release additional details.
The incident played out in the parking lot just off of Coors Bypass NW.
Elizabeth Tipton of Rio Rancho was driving home from a Mother’s Day lunch when she encountered the aftermath. She recorded cellphone footage of multiple bodies on the ground of the parking lot.
“It was just kind of shocking,” she said Sunday afternoon.
Crime scene tape blocked the Party City parking lot. But the shopping center stayed busy throughout the day as police investigated.
In the parking lot, there was a Mini Cooper and a silver SUV stopped in the middle of the lot away from designated parking spaces. Both vehicles had their driver’s doors open, and there were bodies on the ground.
Medina said one of the deceased was still in the vehicle.
Exactly how the shooting played out is not yet clear, Medina said.
A violent weekend
It was a violent weekend in Albuquerque with at least six people shot, four of them fatally, in addition to another person being killed.
“It’s a tragedy in our city. We’ve had a tough weekend,” Medina said. “There’s no denying that.”
Homicide detectives were called to the Richmond Street Studios apartment complex in Nob Hill on Saturday morning after a man was found dead, Gallegos said. Authorities haven’t said how he died.
At about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, police were dispatched to a shooting at the 8600 block of Central NE.
A man was found shot at the scene and he later died at a hospital, Gallegos said.
On Sunday morning, police were called to the area around Chico and Pennsylvania NE.
Two men were found shot in the area. They were taken to the hospital where their injuries were being evaluated Sunday.
Journal staff writer Elizabeth Tucker contributed to this report.