*Correction issued: KRQE News 13 initially reported the driver as Froylan’s aunt; she is his cousin.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department said an 11-year-old boy is dead and the boy’s cousin is critically injured after a possible road rage shooting near Isotopes Park Wednesday night.
“This is a nightmare experience for that family; and I think in many ways for our city. This is the kind of thing that should never, ever, ever happen,” Mayor Tim Keller said.
APD Chief Harold Medina said there were officers at the Isotopes game when gunshots were heard outside. Medina said gunfire hit a truck that was traveling west on Avenida Cesar Chavez around 9 p.m. An 11-year-old boy was hit and killed and a woman in her 20s who they believe may have been his cousin was shot and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Police said the vehicle the victims were riding in may have cut off another vehicle while leaving Isotopes Park. Police said the driver of the suspect’s vehicle made a U-turn and began to follow the victim’s vehicle on Avenida Cesar Chavez. A total of 17 shots were fired from the suspect’s vehicle toward the victim’s vehicle. The 11-year-old boy was sitting in the passenger seat when he was hit.
“The simple fact that you would get cut off and fire 17 rounds at a car that you don’t know who is in, is just completely unacceptable. Individuals who have that mindset have no other place in this community but jail,” Medina said at the Albuquerque Police Department’s news conference Thursday.
It’s the latest in a string of road rage cases. “This is the fifth example of road rage, killing someone in our city this year. This is absolutely, absolutely unconscionable,” Keller said.
“This is the second time that we have somebody carelessly shooting into a structure or vehicle. A couple weeks ago we had a five-year-old child killed. Last night, we had an 11-year-old,” Medina said.
No one is in custody as of Thursday afternoon. “There could be multiple; we have to find out and figure out how many people were in the car,” Medina said, “I would be shocked if it was just one single individual in the car.” News 13 asked Chief Medina how the suspects got away, given that there was increased police presence in the area for the Isotopes game, and a newer substation nearby.
“Quite frankly, the vehicle had a straight shot to the freeway or to out of the area and there were no officers stationed on the exit route,” Medina said.
Medina says they’ve tried to address driver behavior over the last year by writing more traffic citations: “The Albuquerque Police Department, when I took over as chief in 2020 we had issued about 24,000 traffic citations that year. This year we’re on pace to hit 85,000 traffic citations.”
However, Albuquerque officials blame the rash of violence and the amount of guns in the city. “We will continue to push forward and ensure that we are changing drivers behaviors but it’s not just the drivers. The amount of firearms in this community and the amount of lack of understanding of consequences of what your actions are is the biggest thing we need the community to understand,” Medina said.
The mayor called on lawmakers for help: “I hope that whether it’s in a legislative session, whether it’s in a city council session going forward, we also have to understand that guns are awash in our community and they are being used on 11-year-olds. They are being used on five-year-olds.”
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she is declaring a “gun violence public health emergency” in response to the shooting. It in part sets aside emergency funding for a coordinated response to gun violence.
In response House Republican Leader Ryan Lane sent this statement:
“It is unfortunate that the Governor has decided to politicize the death of an 11-year-old to push her anti-gun agenda. What’s likewise unfortunate is that with billions in revenue this state has not funded meaningful criminal justice reform including addressing reckless pre-trial release policies and behavioral health rehabilitation. The Democrat’s policies have created and exacerbated the crime crisis that is literally killing New Mexicans daily. It is unacceptable that it has taken this long to notice the number of everyday New Mexicans that are being affected by criminal violence.”House Republican Leader Ryan Lane (R-Aztec)
APD is continuing to investigate. “I will clearly state: I don’t care how old these individuals are in the end, I don’t care how young they are. They deserve to stay in jail until their case is heard and then they deserve adult consequences for what they have done,” Medina said.
Police are searching for the suspect(s); APD has shared photos of the vehicle involved. The vehicle is believed to be a newer Dodge Durango SRT. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (505) 843-7867.