Gunshot vandalism keeps Bernalillo County building closed Tuesday

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – For the second day in a row, Bernalillo County will keep its downtown headquarters closed due to broken glass in the building’s main lobby. The problem emerged Monday around 3 a.m. after the county says someone shot out at least eight windows in the atrium, about five or six floors above ground level.


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County staff says broken glass remains strewn throughout the lobby, and continues to fall down from above. During a city-county meeting on homelessness Tuesday morning, Bernalillo County Manager Julie Morgas Baca said the situation remains “dangerous.” The building will stay closed again on Wednesday, October 13.

“There’s shattered glass everywhere,” Morgas Baca said. “It’s real super dangerous because you can hear the glass that’s still shattering and it’s just falling all over the place in the atrium.”

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation and Albuquerque Police is assisting. BCSO said they believe there were multiple shooters. They are going through surveillance videos to try and find any vehicles or people involved.

“We’re speculating that it came from the Simms (Building) parking lot, the very top floor,” Morgas Baca said. “We think there were like 20 shots.”

Nearby business owners aren’t surprised to hear the shots may have come from the parking garage, saying it can be a problem spot.

“We’ll see like kids up there, lots of music and noise, beer, alcohol everywhere, it’s just always a lot of partying going on in that garage. So, it’s really not a surprise for us,” said Caitlyn Clement, who works at a nearby coffee shop.

They call the entire incident concerning.

“Just for the security of the neighborhood in general. I just want people to feel safe in the downtown area,” said Amy Baca Lopez, a nearby business owner.

“It is unfortunate and it does concern us. I hope it doesn’t happen again because it also affects our business around the area,” said Clement. “The little businesses that are around here, we do rely on those workers to come in almost every day and support us like they usually do. So, it’s unfortunate that they’re not here right now.”

The county said it has ordered glass to replace the broken windows, the glass should come in about four months. In the meantime, the county will cover the windows with wood.

The county says the more than 800 employees that normally work at Alvarado Square will continue to work remotely. No one was hurt in the shooting.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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