Man arrested in connection with apparent road rage shooting near Montaño Bridge last month - Albuquerque Journal

Man arrested in connection with apparent road rage shooting near Montaño Bridge last month

An Albuquerque Police Department Crime Scene Investigator at the scene of a fatal shooting along Montaño NW near the river on Saturday, Dec. 3. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2023 Albuquerque Journal

Tristan Salais (MDC)

A suspect has been arrested in connection with an apparent road rage shooting that killed a driver near the Montaño Bridge in December.

Tristan Salais, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of 50-year-old Jessie Lovato.

Salais was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, a deputy with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office was traveling west on Montaño NW around 5:30 a.m. Dec. 3 when he saw a crashed Ford F-350 pick-up truck. The driver – identified as Lovato – had crashed into a wall and had a gunshot wound to his head.

The deputy said he saw another vehicle – later identified as Salais’ Volkswagen Jetta – about 50 feet east of the crash scene, the complaint states. He approached Salais, who told him he was a witness to the crash.

Salais was told to stay at the scene while the crash was being investigated and was allowed to go back to his vehicle. He then took off east at full speed, according to the complaint.

Salais’ parents, who came to the scene, told deputies their son had missed a court appointment the day before in regard to a case where he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and had been missing since, the complaint states. He was detained at his house later that day after his father alerted police he was there.

Police interviewed Salais, who told them he was traveling east on Montaño when he saw the Ford F-350 driving recklessly and swerving between lanes attempting to cut off a gray Toyota Prius before crashing into a wall on the south side of Montaño, according to the complaint. He told deputies he fled the scene because he had an arrest warrant for missing a court hearing.

Deputies searched Salais’ home and vehicle and found a firearm, a pistol magazine speed loader, a rifle cartridge and a rifle casing, the complaint states. Scrapes from an unknown black substance were found on the vehicle’s right front fender.

According to video footage obtained from traffic intersections along Montaño, both Lovato’s truck and Salais’ car crossed the intersection of Montaño and Coors at around 5:08 a.m. with an 8-second difference.

It was determined by deputies that no other vehicles were traveling near Lovato’s and Salais’ vehicles at the time of the incident, the complaint states. Salais’ car was seen driving aggressively in the footage. A ShotSpotter gunshot detection device near the area of Rio Grande NW captured four gunshots and a loud crash on audio at around 5:09 a.m., according to the complaint.

Following the investigation, an arrest warrant was issued for Salais on Jan. 10 and he was arrested Monday.

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Man arrested in connection with apparent road rage shooting near Montaño Bridge last month

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