ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man suspected in connection with the January slaying of a 21-year-old in the Walmart parking lot at Coors and Interstate 40 was arrested Tuesday, although police don’t believe he was the shooter.
Police say Alejandro Hernandez, 18, owned the car seen fleeing the parking lot after the shooting, and he allegedly buried the gun used in the shooting in a friend’s backyard.
Hernandez was charged with conspiracy to commit a second-degree felony and tampering with evidence.
Police believe the shooter is still at large, and they are following leads to try to catch him, said Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Tanner Tixier.
Surveillance footage from Walmart shows that the victim, 21-year-old Angelo Martinez, got in a physical fight with another man near the store’s entrance.
The man then jumped into a red Mazda pickup that had pulled up nearby. Martinez went up to the truck, which is when the man got out and shot him, according to the video as described by detectives in a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
The truck then fled through the parking lot.
Police released photos and video of the truck and suspect to the media, and a day later, two men contacted police.
One of them said Hernandez had come over to his house the day after the shooting and asked to hide five rifles, as well as a handgun wrapped in a plastic bag.
The man who contacted police said he put rifle cases in a bedroom, and saw Hernandez bury the handgun in a weeded area of his backyard. Police dug up the gun and found it matched a bullet casing found at the scene of the shooting.
The other man interviewed by police said he went with Hernandez to buy a red Mazda truck. He texted a photo of the new truck to his dad. His dad saw surveillance footage of the truck on the news Jan. 19.
When detectives searched for the truck, they found it had been sold Feb. 2, two weeks after the shooting. The new owner said he bought the truck from Hernandez’s father, who was trying to protect his son, according to the complaint.
Hernandez was arrested Tuesday after a ballistics report confirmed a shell casing at the scene matched the gun. He was booked into the county jail on $100,000 bail.