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‘Robbery gone wrong’ at Dairy Queen in Albuquerque’s South Valley

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man trying to rob a South Valley ice-cream shop was shot and killed by an employee Thursday evening, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy had just stopped a driver nearby when he heard the shots around 6 p.m. He rushed to the Dairy Queen at 427 Isleta SW, south of Bridge Boulevard, and found a man outside the restaurant with gunshot wounds, according to BCSO spokesman Sgt. Aaron Williamson.

“It does appear at this point it was a robbery gone wrong,” Williamson said.

Williamson said the man went to the Dairy Queen’s window with a gun and demanded money. The cashier gave him money and ducked behind the counter. The man then asked for more money. That’s when a different restaurant employee, “in fear of his own life,” fired at the robber, he said.

The man was struck at least once and died after being transported to University of New Mexico Hospital.

The robber did not fire, Williamson said. His identity was not released by the sheriff’s office.

Williamson said the shooter will likely not face any charges. Deputies are still investigating whether the employee was allowed to be carrying the gun.

Walter Lopez, who lives next to the Dairy Queen, said he was weeding his backyard when he heard three shots, then a pause, and then two more shots.

“It’s a good thing I decided to weed back here. … That’s a little too close to home,” said Lopez, who has lived in the South Valley his whole life.

No restaurant employees were injured during the incident, Williamson said. They were sheltered in place and locked the business down until deputies arrived.

Williamson said no other suspects were at large.

Isleta Boulevard in the area of the shooting remained blocked to traffic late Thursday night.