ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Thursday, New Mexico State Police released more information regarding a shooting at an Albuquerque sporting goods store back in April that involved an off-duty state police officer. They say on Friday, April 29, around 8:30 p.m., Albuquerque police responded to a shots fired call at Cabela’s on Lang Ave. near I-25.
NMSP says 18-year-old Gabriel Velasquez tried shoplifting several boxes of 9-millimeter bullets. When a store manager confronted Velasquez and began escorting him from the store, officials say that’s when Velasquez took out a gun and pointed it at the manager and several employees.
Officer Robert Archuleta, an off-duty Tactical Teams officer with the NMSP who was in the store, saw this happen and asked the store manager if Velasquez had pointed the gun at any civilians. The manager said “yes.”
State police say Ofc. Archuleta then followed Velasquez out of the store where Velasquez walked to a silver Inifinity parked in one of the handicapped spots. Archuleta identified himself as a state police officer and instructed Velasquez to drop his gun and get on the ground.
That’s when police say Velasquez pointed his gun in the direction of Ofc. Archuleta, as well as civilians, and fired it. Ofc. Archuleta then returned fire, striking Velasquez.
Velasquez was taken to a nearby hospital but the silver Infinity that was waiting for him in the parking lot sped away. Officers would later locate the car and the driver, 18-year-old Joseph Montoya, at a home in Los Lunas. Montoya told police he was at the shooting incident and he knew Velasquez was armed with a gun. Montoya told agents he knew law enforcement was trying to stop him from leaving the scene and he fled anyway.
Montoya was taken into custody and booked into MDC, charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and resisting or evading an officer.
After being released from the hospital, Velasquez was booked into MDC and charged with armed robbery, four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.