Local gun advocacy group speaks out after violent weekend

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a violent Halloween weekend in the Albuquerque metro; five people were shot and killed, most of them at Halloween parties. A gun advocacy group says that now is not the time to let your teens or even young adults go to parties in Albuquerque.

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Shots were fired at multiple parties killing three people, all younger than 23. “One, it was one of sadness, and two, it was what did we expect? I mean, we’re a state awash in guns and, sadly, our youth are getting hold of those guns,” said Miranda Viscoli, co-president of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s definitely a problem that’s growing and growing.”

First, early Saturday morning shots were fired during a large party at a home off McMahon and Unser. The shooting was caught on a neighbor’s doorbell camera. The video shows someone in the home going outside to check what’s going on when gunfire erupts, sending debris flying.

The family says a bullet hit their wall and their TV, damaging the screen. No one was killed in that shooting but the Albuquerque Police Department says four people were sent to the hospital. APD says parties like this are part of a concerning trend of uninvited people showing up, armed.

“Even worse than that, they are willing to use those guns in an indiscriminate matter which puts a lot of people at risk, like neighbors,” said APD’s Director of Communications Gilbert Gallegos.

Meanwhile, early Sunday morning deputies say 18-year-old Alejandro Villareal and 22-year-old John Casados were killed at a Halloween party in the South Valley. They say a fight broke out and people started shooting.

Four others were hurt. Cell phone video captures at least three people waving guns at a party at The View Apartments formerly known as The Cottages which have had their problems since opening in 2014. Soon after, shots rang out. Police say 18-year-old Lorenzo Romero was killed.

As of now, no suspects have been arrested in any of the party shootings but Gallegos says detectives are working quickly. “We have identified several individuals who may be involved,” Gallegos said.

While it’s not clear what led to this weekend’s shooting, Gallegos says violence often stems from different groups who have beef with each other. “There definitely people who were not intended targets who were actually injured, which is the most concerning,” Gallegos said. He also says while not every party is dangerous, an increasing number are. “We want them to understand that even if we think it’s safe to go to these parties, you don’t know who else is going to show up,” Gallegos said.

Viscoli agrees until state lawmakers and law enforcement can get the problem under control, parties simply aren’t safe. “I hate to say that, I have teenage kids and they should be allowed to go to parties but right now, in Albuquerque, is not that time until we reign this in,” said Viscoli.

APD says they expect charges will be filed soon in the cases and adds homeowners and renters could face charges too. Meanwhile, a fourth person was killed in downtown Albuquerque over the weekend. Geoffrey Scott Edgar, 37, was found shot to death early Saturday morning near 6th Street and Copper. It’s still unclear what led to that shooting or whether police have any suspects.

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

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