A mother and her 17-year-old daughter were found early Thursday morning, murdered inside their westside apartment.
Family and friends say the suspect in the case is another family member who was visiting from Colorado.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by a family member, those two people were Deborah Montano and her 17-year-old daughter, Irisa.
“You never think it’s going to be someone that you love so much,” said Irisa’s friend, Emmy Garcia. “We got up ready to go to her house to make sure it wasn’t true.”
Police responded to the Mesa Ridge Apartments on Atrisco near Sequoia around 3:30 a.m. Thursday after a call from a neighbor.
Later that morning, the Albuquerque Police Department was alerted that the suspect was in Colorado in a stolen car from New Mexico.
KRQE News 13 has learned that car belonged to Deborah Montano. It was spotted in the parking lot of a Walmart in Fort Morgan, just north of Denver.
Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies approached the suspect as he left the store, and say he made a “threatening gesture,” so they shot him.
He is now in critical condition.
According to a news release from the Fort Morgan’s Sheriff’s Office, he has been identified as 31-year-old Dustin Brian Montano of Sterling, Colorado.
The sheriff’s office there says information from APD confirmed Montano is the suspect in the double homicide.
Morgan County’s major crimes task force is now investigating the police shooting, while APD investigates the murders.
According to APD, these two murders make 34 homicides so far this year.
The victims’ family says Deborah had three children and served in Desert Storm.
Irisa’s friends say the mother-daughter duo were always together.
“She had to be, she had to know who she was with all the time. She was like a protective momma bear,” Emmy Garcia said.
They say Irisa graduated a year early from high school and wanted to be a nurse.
“I was honestly so proud of her because she did anything and everything to graduate. She wanted to make her mom happy,” said Irisa’s friend, Daisy Cordova.
Now that she’s gone, they say they want people to remember Irisa for her laugh, and the way she would “make light out of everything.”
According to court records, Dustin Brian Montano does not appear to have a criminal record in New Mexico.
Police have yet to release a motive in this case.