7-year-old shot and wounded at Los Altos Skate Park, suspect arrested

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A seven-year-old boy is hospitalized after being shot in the head at Los Altos Skate Park. Police said the boy was an innocent victim caught in the middle of a confrontation. Police said there was an argument at the park Wednesday afternoon that ended up sending the young boy to the hospital.

It happened at the skate park near Lomas and Eubank just before 3 p.m. The Albuquerque Police Department said a woman was shuffling through a skateboarder’s backpack possibly attempting to steal something.

The skateboarder, 28-year-old Mario Garcia, confronted the woman who then said she was going to get her boyfriend who did end up going to the park. Police said by that time, Garcia had left, drove by in his truck, and shot into the park. He hit the seven-year-old who was not involved in the confrontation. The shot ricocheted and hit the child who was on his skateboard or scooter.

The boy’s injuries are non-life-threatening. “It sounds like it was not meant to shoot this kid,” APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said. “He was in the crossfire. However you look at it, this was a very dangerous incident no matter what started it.”

People skated throughout the evening at the park following the shooting, several of them being small children. Park regulars said they are disappointed this happened, and the violence has to stop. “It is a skate park for kids,” skateboarder Wade Armstrong said. “It shouldn’t be that way. Why do you have to bring violence over here when there is little kids running around? It is just not cool.”

Police said cameras in the park were extremely helpful in identifying Garcia as the shooter. They found him this evening at an apartment complex and took him into custody. They also found a handgun and ammo.

Los Altos Park is no stranger to trouble. The city increased security there back in 2016 nearly a year after a deadly shooting injured six and killed one. There was another deadly shooting near the park in April of last year.

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