Albuquerque teen charged in shooting death of 19-year-old friend


An Albuquerque teen is facing charges after he says he accidentally shot and killed his best friend while joking around.

Zachary Hammond, 18, told police he was just messing around when he pointed a gun at his best friend’s face and it ‘just went off.’

According to police records, last Tuesday, a young man was rushed to Rust medical center after he was shot in the driveway of a home on Celestial Avenue in northwest Albuquerque.

Eric Apisa, 19, died three days later. Friends of Apisa told police that the group went to buy Xanax from Hammond, his best friend.

After the drug deal, Hammond went to get a gun he was selling to show Apisa, then pointed it at Apisa and shot him.

On Friday, after several days of hiding out, Hammond turned himself into authorities and explained what happened. According to court documents, he claimed that he and Apisa have joked around with guns before and that he pointed it at his friend not knowing there was a round in the chamber, or that the safety was off.

Hammond told police he did not remember pulling the trigger and after seeing that he shot his friend he started yelling that he was sorry, before taking off.  In court Sunday, Hammond learned he’s facing involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence charges.

“Because there is an allegation of trafficking a prescription drug that preceded the involuntary manslaughter in this case, I am requiring the highest level of supervision,” a judge told Hammond in court Sunday.

Hammond has no criminal history and was released on his own recognizance, but with GPS monitoring. Hammond’s girlfriend and Apisa’s mother both described the pair as best friends to police. Apisa’s mother even told officers she thinks of Hammond as a son and had spoken to him just hours before the shooting.

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