Man arrested in Monday's fatal shooting at apartment complex - Albuquerque Journal

Man arrested in Monday’s fatal shooting at apartment complex

Michael Koester

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A teenage tryst took a violent turn Monday, when it was interrupted by a brawl breaking out between two families.

The fight ended with one man fatally shooting another.

On Tuesday, Albuquerque police charged Michael Anthony Koester, 25, with second-degree murder in the death of Raul Gallegos, 44. Koester and Gallegos had been fighting and police said Koester shot Gallegos three times as he was retreating to his vehicle after the fight, an Albuquerque police spokesman said in a news release.

The chain of events started when Daysha Aragon returned to her apartment at 6000 Topke NE and caught a naked teenage boy laughing in a bedroom with three teenage girls, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. The boy and one of the girls were putting their clothes back on, according to the complaint.

Koester, Aragon’s boyfriend, confronted the teenage boy, identified as J.G., and picked him up in a bear hug and removed him from the apartment. At one point J.G. called family members and asked them to come to the apartment, which is near Montgomery and San Pedro.

Aragon later told police that J.G. told his family members to bring their “straps,” which is slang for guns. She said she then retrieved a gun from her apartment.

Multiple people started to arrive at the complex and a fight broke out. Brass knuckles and blood were later observed in the parking lot, along with clothes and a tan gun, according to the complaint.

Police were called to the complex around 4:30 p.m. on a reported disturbance call that was later upgraded to a shooting.

Parts of the physical fight were recorded on a cellphone, according to the complaint.

Albuquerque police investigate a fatal shooting at an apartment complex at 6000 Topke NE, near San Pedro and Montgomery NE, Monday, July 18, 2022. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Police were able to watch the scene unfold as Koester fought with Gallegos, J.G.’s father. The men were shirtless and in shorts, fighting near a red sedan with its hazard lights on, according to the complaint. Koester is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 350 pounds and at times during the fight is seen holding Gallegos against the car and throwing him to the ground.

As the video progresses, Aragon and Shamrah Gallegos, J.G.’s mother, start to fight and pull each other’s hair, according to the complaint. Koester’s father and other people are also observed in the footage of the fight, according to the complaint.

Near the end of the video, police said a voice is heard saying, “hey brother, calm down.” A gun slide is heard. The footage then shows Koester armed with a gun.

In describing the video, an Albuquerque detective wrote that Gallegos moved away from Koester and Gallegos raised his left hand when Koester shot him three times.

Shamrah and Raul Gallegos drove away from the scene after the shooting and flagged down a police service aide at the scene of a crash. Emergency medical personnel who also responded to that crash drove Raul Gallegos to University of New Mexico Hospital, where he died.

Koester declined to speak with police. It wasn’t clear from court records if he has an attorney. Aragon, his girlfriend, declined to comment.

“The video captured shows Raul (Gallegos) retreating back to his vehicle as Michael is cocking the firearm and pointing it at Raul,” the detective wrote in the complaint.

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