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Army veteran, 24, shot dead in Southeast Albuquerque

Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal

Tyler Lewis Lackey and his friend stopped at an ATM near his house in Southeast Albuquerque after going out for dinner on Friday night, his aunt said.

The 24-year-old Army veteran never made it home.

Shortly before 10 p.m., officers were called to Gibson and Wilmoore SE, where they found a man with at least one gunshot wound in a parking lot near the ATM, said officer Daren DeAguero, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department.

Police haven’t said what they believe led up to the shooting, but they said witnesses described an altercation between two men before one was shot.

“We got a call at 9:52 p.m. saying there were two male subjects in the parking lot and they were in a confrontation,” DeAguero said Friday night. “(The caller) heard a loud noise and then one man fell to the ground.”

By the time officers and paramedics arrived, it was too late, DeAguero said. Lackey died at the scene.

A gun was found next to Lackey, but police haven’t said if it belonged to him or the man who shot him.

Witnesses were able to provide a description of the shooter, and detectives are looking for a thin, Hispanic male with a clean-shaven face who was wearing a red track suit, police said Saturday. They released photos of a red-and-white sedan they believe the suspect was driving and of a woman who was with him who is wanted for questioning.

Police haven’t released the victim’s name, but Lackey’s aunt, Paula Frank, said her sister was told of her son’s death early Saturday morning.

Lackey grew up in Albuquerque and followed in his older brother’s footsteps when he joined the U.S. Army in 2010, Frank said in an interview Saturday.

“Most of the men in the family go into the Army or one of the branches of the military,” she said. “His brother and him are very close in age, about a year apart, so he was not far behind.”

Frank said her nephew had recently returned after a five-and-a-half-year stint in the Army, where he served as a paratrooper medic in the 82nd Airborne Division.

“He worked in a field surgical unit during his tour in Afghanistan,” Frank said. “He was honorably discharged in November of 2015.”

Lackey planned to continue his work in the medical field as a civilian, Frank said. She said he had recently enrolled at Central New Mexico Community College.

“I’m a nurse practitioner, and he would say he wanted to be a nurse like me,” she said. “He was just starting out at CNM, and he knew he wanted to do to something in medicine, but he didn’t know what yet.”

Frank said Lackey lived on Cornell SE with his mother and younger sister, just a few blocks from where he was shot.

Around 1 a.m., detectives knocked on her door and told her what had happened, Frank said.

“When they first came over, they said he didn’t do anything wrong – which was funny because, as a boy, he was always kind of mischievous,” she said.

Although police haven’t said why they believe Lackey was shot and killed, Frank believes he must have been at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“He wasn’t into gangs or into criminal stuff,” she said. “He was just trying to move on after the Army, grow up and get on with his life.”

Journal Digital Editor Robert Browman contributed to this report.

Note: an earlier version of this story included a misspelling of Lackey’s middle name. It has been corrected.

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