ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police Department says a 15-year-old involved in a standoff with police died from smoke inhalation. However, it’s still uncertain if the house fire was caused by a tear gas canister used to get 27-year-old Qiaunt Kelley out of the home near Southern and Wyoming.
According to APD, 15-year-old Brett Rosenau and Qiaunt Kelley barricaded themselves inside as officers were closing in. Why was Rosenau with Kelley? KRQE’s investigative reporter Ann Pierret looked into the teen’s life and found his father was shot and killed by deputies in a chase years ago.
The 15-year-old’s mom and her attorney didn’t want to talk about the boy’s troubles saying he loved his many siblings and walked to the beat of his own drum. However, it appears like he had issues over the past year.
APD released that Rosenau’s friends threatened his mom and even shot at her home. She told police she believes they’re drug dealers.
Rosenau did not grow up with his biological father. Three months before he was born, a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his dad when he pulled out a gun during a traffic stop. The 24-year-old had been in trouble for meth and car theft.
At the time, he was wanted for blowing off court on domestic violence charge. It’s now being investigated if his son also died at the hands of law enforcement.
APD says smoke inhalation killed Rosenau during the SWAT standoff. It is known that officers used tear gas canisters and shot pepper spray shells into the home to get Qiaunt Kelley out.
The chief says the house caught fire 2.5 hours later. It could take fire officials two weeks to determine if that device sparked the flames.
The ACLU is asking the attorney general to conduct an independent investigation into Rosenau’s death. His family is joining the call.
Story continues below
- Albuquerque: Video: Fight between two groups turns deadly in Albuquerque
- Top Story: Car drives through parade in Gallup; injuries now confirmed
- New Mexico: Bureau of Land Management asks for feedback on wild horse gather plan
- Crime: Deadly robbery suspect takes plea deal
- KRQE En Español: Jueves 4 de Agosto 2022
KRQE News 13 tried to ask Rosenau’s family why the 15-year-old was with Qiaunt Kelley that night. The family’s attorney declined to comment.
Kelley is considered a violent criminal. APD went after him over two warrants for his arrest. They say he’s wanted for questioning in a June shooting that left Leonard Fresquez dead. Fresquez was an accomplished artist who was working on a book about the International District where he was killed. Fresquez is the son of a well-known boxing promoter and restaurant owner Lenny Fresquez.
APD did not want to comment on what led to the Fresquez murder. All they would comment was that Kelley is considered a person of interest.
The attorney general’s office says they are offering assistance in the investigation.
Statement on Behalf of the Family of Brett Rosenau
Brett was a fifteen-year-old boy who was full of life. Growing up in Albuquerque, he was never afraid to be himself. A smart and funny young boy he walked to the beat of his own drum. Although he was small for his age, he participated in sports like football and baseball— never being deterred by his smaller stature and always excited for a new challenge.
Amanda Lopez, Brett’s mother, was always impressed by Brett’s pioneering attitude. Whether he was trying to sport a new style that he came up with or taking apart a bicycle to rebuild it, he was always interested in creating something new. His teachers often believed that he would pursue engineering given his ingenuity and talents.
Brett loved his siblings and family. He was the dependable brother that any sibling would dream of having as part of their family. He was never shy to be affectionate and loving. His mother was always amazed that he was never embarrassed when she would ask for him to hug or kiss her in front of his friends. The police conduct on July 6, 2022, can only be described as tragic and completely avoidable. The police had every opportunity to save Brett’s life but instead chose inaction. Brett’s family and community are forever left without their son, brother, and friend. There will be an unfillable void by the loss of his life.
At this time, Brett’s family requests that you respect their privacy so that they can grieve in peace. All questions should be addressed to their attorneys at Rothstein Donatelli, LLP. You can support Brett’s family by contributing to Brett’s Go Fund Me page at https://gogetfunding.com/brettrosenau-funeral-expenses/ and supporting a celebration of Brett’s life during a candlelight vigil that is scheduled to be held on Friday, July 15 at 8PM at Albuquerque Civic Plaza.
Brett’s family has retained attorneys to investigate the events that led to his death, including an investigation into APD’s and BCSO’s conduct at the scene. Brett’s family joins the ACLU’s call to the Attorney General for a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation into the July 6, 2022 SWAT standoff that caused the wrongful death of this beloved child.