ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A judge has ruled that the case against suspected shoplifter, Gabriel Velasquez will not be dismissed. On Monday, Judge Cindy Leos also ruled that he remain locked up.
New Mexico State Police said 18-year-old Gabriel Velasquez tried shoplifting several boxes of 9-millimeter bullets from Cabela’s in April 2021. When a store manager confronted Velasquez and began escorting him from the store, officials say, that was when Velasquez took out a gun and pointed it at the manager and several employees.
Velasquez was then shot by an off-duty officer and transported to a hospital. Once he was released from the hospital, Velasquez was accused of armed robbery, four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
In December 2022, Velasquez’s attorneys asked that he be released from being held in jail. He presented a case claiming that since the shooting, he could no longer see in one eye and had lost the use of one arm. He argued that this event completely changed whether or not he is a danger to the community.
Judge Cindy Leos previously held off on the decision stating that she wanted more documentation on how Velasquez’s condition has declined over the last several months. She also requested that an interview be conducted with the officer involved for better clarity as to what led to him firing his gun.
Velasquez’s defense stated that he had not yet stolen the items from Cabela’s and added that he only took out his gun to get out of the store when he was confronted by workers. Despite the defense’s argument, Judge Leos ruled that Velasquez be held in jail through the remainder of his trial.