ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It was a tense few minutes for one Albuquerque pastor Tuesday morning.
A shooting suspect arrived at Legacy Church with a weapon in his vehicle, and the pastor kept the man away from the weapon until police arrived to arrest him.
Police say that man — 48-year-old Matthew Gonzales — shot his ex-girlfriend and stole her car an hour or so earlier. She survived the shooting.
Police were called to a home on the 400 block of Gaslight SW around 7:30 a.m. after Gonzales reportedly threatened his ex-girlfriend with a gun and was trying to force her to leave with him. Officers arrived to find the woman had been shot. Gonzales had already left, Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier said.
The woman was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital and was in stable condition Tuesday morning, Tixier said.
A little more than an hour later, police received a call from someone at Legacy Church who said that the man wanted to turn himself in. Police arrested Gonzales without incident, Tixier said.
Gonzales was booked into the county jail Tuesday afternoon and charged with aggravated battery on a household member, aggravated assault on a household member, child abuse, assault on a household member with intent to commit a violent felony, robbery with a deadly weapon, kidnapping with great bodily harm and larceny.
Daniel McCabe, executive pastor at Legacy Church, said the church received a tip that Gonzales was suicidal, not knowing he had been involved in the morning’s shooting. A pastor called to check in on him, and that’s when Gonzales said he shot someone, McCabe said. Gonzales arrived on the church grounds and a staff member called police while the pastor went to talk to him.
Gonzales is not a member of the church.
“We appreciate our staff handling it and we appreciate APD as well,” McCabe said. “If we have the opportunity to help anyone in any way, we do.”
Tixier didn’t know how many times the woman was shot, or where she was hit.
A white SUV was parked at Gwin Road inside the crime tape and a green piece of clothing was on the ground in front of it Tuesday morning. The passenger side door was open.
Northbound Unser was blocked with crime tape at Bridge while police investigated.
Bennie Recio, a neighbor, said she didn’t hear anything and only realized something had happened when she walked out of her house.
“I don’t know why we didn’t hear any shots. It’s usually pretty quiet around here,” Recio said.
Jimmy Carter Middle School, which is north of the scene, was put on lockdown due to the shooting, according to police and Albuquerque Public Schools.