ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The mother of two New Mexico State Police officers was murdered in her own driveway, and it’s left the community on edge. Now, Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department are addressing the soaring murder numbers over the past few years, as this year is about to set an all-time record for the city.
There were a lot of tough questions asked of Mayor Keller and APD at their news conference on Wednesday. KRQE News 13 asked after such a brazen crime, how do they reassure the public they’re safe? This is what they had to say:
“With the initiatives that the department is pushing forward to combat all of those things, we are hoping that we’re sending a strong message to the public that we understand what they are feeling and we are doing everything we can with the resources that we have,” said Lt. Scott Norris.
This comes just 24 hours after a woman, now identified as 55-year-old Jacqueline Vigil, was shot and killed in her own driveway on the westside in a possible robbery or carjacking. APD said it is now looking for a 2000 brown Jeep Cherokee that was seen leaving the scene.
Police say they are working all leads in the case as they try to find the killers. Meanwhile, Tuesday night there was another murder, bringing the homicide number up to 72, matching the all-time high set just two years ago.
APD said it has doubled its number of homicide detectives up to 10, and the department just added an 11th position, but APD does admit it has its hands full.
“Unfortunately we’ve seen homicides increase slightly, and the year, of course, is not yet over. So with five or so weeks left to go, we know this is going to be one of our worst years on record,” said Mayor Keller.
The mayor said guns were used in 62% of the killings this year, and with a number of initiatives to combat crime, he says his top priority is staffing and getting as many officers as possible into the department.
As for the murder Tuesday morning, APD says it does have leads that the people involved may have targeted other car owners in the city before that woman was shot. Police say it is still working on releasing an image of the Jeep tied to the murder.