ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 58-year old Albuquerque man is facing an open count of murder, accused of shooting and killing a man who police say was trying to help a gas station clerk. The shooting happened over the weekend at the Circle K on the corner of Juan Tabo and Lomas, ending with the arrest of Eric Ford.
Albuquerque Police say around 12:20 Saturday afternoon, February 11, Ford was “causing a scene” at the gas station’s convenience store. According to a criminal complaint, the clerk described Ford as “yelling and grunting” in the back of the store. After being asked to stop, the clerk told police that she asked Ford to leave.
Once Ford exited the store, investigators say he continued yelling outside. Investigators say the clerk then leaned outside, asking Ford to leave again. At that point, investigators believe Ford hit the clerk with a closed fist.
After the alleged punch, a customer inside the store went after Ford. Witnesses say that intervening customer, 24-year-old Michael Urioste asked Ford if he hit the clerk, to which Ford acknowledged he had. Witnesses say the customer, Urioste, then told Ford he shouldn’t be hitting women. Witnesses say that Ford allegedly hit Urioste first, then the two continued fighting.
A passenger from Ford’s car eventually got involved in the fight, hitting Urioste with a cane. Investigators later determined it was Ford’s wife with the cane.
As the fight continued, surveillance video shows another man then tried to intervene. Police say Ford eventually pulled out a handgun, shooting Urioste in the abdomen. Urioste died from his injuries, while Ford and his wife took off from the scene.
Police say several gunshots were fired at the scene. One stray bullet hit a man near his groin as he was filling his car with gas. Police say that an “innocent bystander” has a non-life-threatening injury.
Investigators caught up with Ford and his wife on Sunday morning after their car was stopped on east Central Avenue at the Four Hills Village shopping center. In subsequent interviews with investigators, both admitted they were at the Circle K and were involved in the fight. However, police say Ford denied having a gun. Investigators later recovered a gun at a nearby motel room the Fords were staying in and clothing matching the suspect description.
Ford was arrested Sunday. He’s facing an open count of murder and one evidence tampering charge. So far, his wife isn’t facing criminal charges.