Albuquerque police have identified a man who was shot and killed during what detectives said was drug deal gone bad outside of a northwest Albuquerque community center last Tuesday.
Albuquerque resident Jerry Michael Trejo, 33, was shot to death outside of the Wells Park Community Center near Mountain Road and Fifth Street NW around 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to officer Fred Duran, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman.
Damian Hidalgo, 19, was arrested a day after the shooting and charged with an open count of murder.
Hidalgo told police he had received a text message Tuesday morning asking if he wanted to buy marijuana and arranged to meet with a man at the community center that afternoon.
When he arrived at the center, Trejo jumped into Hidalgo’s car. But instead of selling him marijuana, Trejo pulled out a pocketknife, demanded Hidalgo’s wallet and fled, according to a criminal complaint filed against Hidalgo in Metropolitan Court.
Hidalgo told police that’s when he reached under the seat, grabbed a gun and shot Trejo in the back as he was running away, according to the complaint.
“The shooting victim fell to the ground, and Hidalgo approached him to retrieve his wallet,” Duran said.
Hidalgo told officers he got out of his car and walked up to Trejo, who was lying on his back on the sidewalk leading to the community center, to get his wallet back, according to the complaint.
“Mr. Hidalgo told the male that he wanted his wallet back, but the male kept cursing at him,” a detective wrote in the complaint. “Mr. Hidalgo approached the male within ‘an arm-and-a-half to two arms-lengths’ away and fired into the man’s head.”
Officers found Trejo dead at the scene.
As Hidalgo sped away, a witness snapped a picture of the car he was driving.
“Utilizing these photos of the license plate, Albuquerque Police Violent Crimes detectives were able to determine the vehicle was a rental car that had been rented by 19-year-old Damian Hidalgo,” Duran said.
Detectives caught up with Hidalgo at his southeast Albuquerque apartment Tuesday evening and arrested him.
— This is a developing story. Additional information will be added as it becomes available.