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It seemed like a case of self-defense. At first.
Michael Lucero told police he woke up to his apartment being burglarized and exchanged gunfire with the suspects as they fled – striking two of them.
But investigators looking into the messy confrontation discovered that Lucero and his girlfriend Madeline Marquez weren’t just burglary victims.
Now, the couple is facing more severe charges than those who broke in.
Lucero, 21, and Marquez, 22, are each charged with auto burglary, tampering with evidence and conspiracy in the Nov. 1 case.
Lucero is facing additional charges of shooting at a motor vehicle and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for the subsequent shooting, which injured Arsenio Cole, 28, and the woman whose belongings were stolen.
Cole is charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the break-in and there is a warrant out for his arrest.
Lucero and Marquez have been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Police responded around 2:40 a.m. to reports of gunfire at the Sandia Vista Apartments near Tramway and Copper NE, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Lucero and Marquez told police three people, one of whom had a rifle, broke into their apartment and fired a gun several times.
Police said Lucero initially denied shooting a gun, but eventually told detectives he shot at the intruders after they fired at him before fleeing in a red truck. He said his wallet and phone were taken from his nightstand.
Police said a woman and Cole showed up at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. They arrived in a red truck that was riddled with bullet holes. The woman said she, Cole and a friend met a couple Downtown and planned to go to a nightclub together.
She told police the couple decided not to go to the club and, when the group got back to the truck, her bag and a gun were missing, according to the complaint. The woman said the group used an app to track the phone to the couple’s apartment.
Police said the woman told them the group split up and, within minutes, Cole was yelling that he had been shot. She said she and Cole got in the truck and began to leave as more gunshots rang out, striking her.
Detectives found Lucero’s wallet and phone in the woman’s hospital property bag.
Hours after the incident, police said, Marquez contacted detectives to tell them she and Lucero put two handguns and a jar of weed in the couple’s vehicle before officers arrived.
Detectives searched the vehicle and found Lucero’s gun, bloody clothes, and the bag and the gun that had been taken in the earlier auto burglary, according to the complaint.
Police concluded that Lucero and Marquez stole the belongings and, based on surveillance footage, that the woman and Cole did not fire a gun at Lucero before he shot at them several times in the parking lot.