‘A very violent night' in Albuquerque - Albuquerque Journal

‘A very violent night’ in Albuquerque

Police investigate after a 65-year-old man was found shot to death inside a car early Thursday morning at an apartment complex in Northeast Albuquerque. The shooting was one of three in as many hours, pushing the city’s homicide total on the year to 94. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

As Wednesday turned to Thursday, in what a police spokesman characterized as “a very violent night in Albuquerque,” three men were killed in just as many hours.

They were found in a mobile home park in Southeast Albuquerque, lying in the middle of the street in an East Central neighborhood, and behind the steering wheel of a car in an apartment complex parking lot in the Northeast Heights.
All three had been shot and died at the scene.

“I am not aware of any possible connections between the homicides,” said Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman.

The shootings brought Albuquerque to 94 homicides this year. By this time in 2021, there had been 85.

Gallegos said the three back-to-back-to-back homicides made for “a very violent night in Albuquerque.” No arrests have been made in the cases, which happened between 11:40 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday.

The names of those killed in the first two shootings were not released. The man killed in the third shooting was identified by police as 65-year-old William Vencill.

During an early morning briefing, Gallegos said officers responded around 11:40 p.m. to a shooting at the Four Hills Mobile Home Park, near Juan Tabo and Southern SE. He said a man was found shot to death outside one of the homes and detectives had interviewed potential witnesses and gathered evidence.

“They’re trying to determine if they have an ID for an offender — they’re following up on leads right now,” Gallegos said.

The second incident started as a call for Albuquerque Fire Rescue. He said AFR responded around 1:15 a.m. to the 200 block of Espanola SE and found a man lying in the middle of the street and tried to save him.

“AFR responded initially, thinking the individual was suffering (from) cardiac arrest,” Gallegos said. “They later determined he suffered a gunshot wound as well.”

The spokesman said no other information was immediately available.

In the third incident, Gallegos said officers responded shortly before 2 a.m. to the Mission Hills apartments at 10000 Menaul NE, near Eubank. He said Vencill was found dead inside a car with a gunshot wound.

“He was declared deceased and homicide detectives were requested to start an investigation,” Gallegos said. Court records show Vencill listed the apartments as his home address.

“It’s still early on,” Gallegos said. “We’re trying to figure out exactly what happened and determine if there’s any actual witnesses or people who kind of came upon the scene after the fact.”

By the time the sun rose Thursday, any signs of the homicide or subsequent investigation at the first two scenes had vanished. The mobile home park and residential neighborhood off East Central were quiet.

At the apartment complex, crime scene tape cordoned off the parking lot and investigators combed the area. In the middle of it all, a blue car could be seen with its doors open and a man’s body sitting motionless in the driver’s seat.

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