ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Sylvan Alcachupas, the man accused of killing the owner of Giovanni’s Pizzeria, was supposed to make his first court appearance Thursday but refused to show up. The state has filed a pretrial detention motion for him. He will continue to be held until a district court judge rules on that motion.
Police say Alcachupas attempted the robbery shortly after the business was closed, as employees gathered outside. Witnesses told police a man in dark clothing eventually walked up to employees and demanded them to empty their pockets, while pointing a gun. Employees told APD they threw their money on the ground. After Alcachupas allegedly grabbed the $15 in tip money, witnesses told APD that the suspect began walking around the car while challenging Zito, saying, “You wanna play?” while firing a warning shot into the air. Zito is said to have pulled out a handgun and pointed it at Alcachupas. After an exchange of gunfire, witnesses saw Zito on the ground and the suspect was going through his pockets, according to APD. Zito died of his injuries on the scene. Alcachupas was arrested a short time later just a few blocks away from the restaurant.