ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An apartment manager considers himself lucky to be alive after nearly becoming the victim of a gunman who killed himself less than an hour later as police surrounded him.
"It was definitely my lucky day," Bob Thompson told KRQE News 13. "You know someone had to be watching out, evidently."
Thompson was working at the Premiere Motel on Central Avenue SE near Solano Drive Wednesday when he spotted Marc Meltzer wandering around the back parking lot of the small apartment complex.
When Thompson confronted him, Meltzer, 41, said he needed to get into an apartment where he once lived to retrieve his stuff. Instead Thompson, who said Meltzer never lived there, escorted him off the property.
But Meltzer quietly returned at around 3 p.m. looking for keys in the office and then taking a seat to wait, at one point lighting a cigarette.
When Thompson came back to the office accompanied by a repairman, Meltzer pulled out a gun. Thompson retreated to his apartment with Meltzer close behind.
Meltzer stepped inside, pointed the gun at Thompson and pulled the trigger. The weapon misfired.
Thompson then was able to force his assailant out the door and close it.
A few minutes late Thompson heard Meltzer fire one shot at a parked car before the gunman took off driving a blue hatchback.
By then Albuquerque police were on the alert with officers on the ground and in the air spotting the hatchback near Lead Avenue and Girard Boulevard chasing him north and then east through Nob Hill to Central and San Mateo Boulevard.
There Metzler turned north, and one of the pursing officers spun Meltzer's hatchback into the San Mateo median.
Seconds later Meltzer shot himself in the head, APD reported. He died at the scene at about 3:45 p.m.
The investigation shut down San Mateo until late Wednesday night.
Thompson said he learned of Meltzer's death from TV news. The whole experience is still sinking in, he added.
"Everything was happening so quickly, he said. "I didn't have time to absorb what was going on."
In August police arrested Meltzer for burglary after a homeowner confronted him and called police . Online court records show a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest on Tuesday for violating conditions of his release on bond.
Officials say the Bernalillo County Treasurer Office is closed Friday after a suspicious substance was found in the office.
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