Angelo Martinez posted bond and was let out of jail Friday after pleading not guilty to aggravated assault charges, according to court and jail records.
Two days later, he became a murder victim.
Police say the 21-year-old was gunned down around 9 p.m. in a busy Walmart parking lot near Coors and Interstate 40 on Sunday. He died at the hospital.
Police were called to the Walmart at 2550 Coors NW after receiving calls about a fight. While they were en route, callers reported that shots were fired and someone was hit.
Police haven’t said if the shooting happened inside or outside the store, but the victim’s father, Melvin Martinez, said witnesses told him the fight was in the doorway of the store. Angelo Martinez was walking in while another group was walking out and words were exchanged, Melvin Martinez said. The other group knocked off Angelo Martinez’s hat, then punches were thrown and someone shot him.
Melvin Martinez said the witnesses he talked to didn’t know if the two groups knew each other or if it was a random interaction.
No one had been arrested as of late Monday.
But Monday evening, police released blurry still photos that show the suspect, as well as the car the suspect was in. The car is a red pickup truck and the suspect appears to be wearing dark clothing. Police asked anyone with information to call them.
There was still blood on the Walmart parking lot’s asphalt Monday morning and employees had blocked four parking spots with caution tape while they tried to get it cleaned up. A Walmart employee said two people came into the store Monday because their cars had been hit by bullets and they were trying to get reimbursed for the damage.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier said nobody in the parking lot or store had a description of the suspect to give to police.
The store was reopened Monday after being closed during the investigation.
Melvin Martinez said he was at home in Los Lunas when he got a call from Angelo’s mom. He rushed to the hospital, where the doctors told the family the young man had died around 10 or 10:30 p.m.
“It’s like my worst fear, it’s every parent’s worst fear,” Melvin Martinez said. “I am still in shock, I don’t understand.”
Angelo Martinez had been staying with his mom the past few days. He grew up in the South Valley and loved playing sports, especially basketball. He got into rapping and produced a CD with his friends, Melvin Martinez said. In the days after he got out of jail, he had applied for jobs and planned to get his GED. He wanted to move to Phoenix with his dad in the spring.
“He wanted to change where he was,” Melvin Martinez said. “He’s a real respectable guy. He had his troubles but … whoever shot him, they didn’t know him.”