ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police have arrested and charged two men with an October murder near the downtown bus station. The same men are also now suspected of shooting a man in the back before he was run over and killed hours later on Candelaria.
The suspects, Casper Rickords, 22, and Melvin Robinson, 33, are both in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center. They were arrested after a SWAT standoff Monday night at the Extend-A-Suites motel on Menual, just east of University Boulevard.
Both Rickords and Robinson are facing charges including an open count of murder, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Albuquerque Police say a distinctive moped has helped tied both men to each crime, but so far, the suspects are only facing charges in the October case.
The first shooting happened on October 21, 2022, resulting in the death of Isaac Torres. APD believes Rickords and Robinson shot and killed Torres just before midnight at the Alvarado Transportation Center near 1st and Central after a “confrontation.” Police believe that confrontation occurred after the two suspects allegedly tried to sell marijuana to Torres.
According to a criminal complaint, Rickords and Robinson both spoke to APD detectives about the fatal Torres shooting following their arrest last night. Both men accused each other of shooting Torres during a struggle for a firearm. Police say surveillance video captured the shooting on camera, showing two people pointing guns at Torres.
Robinson also told APD he “got rid of” the orange moped that they allegedly fled the scene on. However, police recovered that moped earlier this week at a motel Robinson is said to frequent.
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Second shooting investigation
Albuquerque Police say the moped is central to an ongoing investigation into the shooting of an man on Candelaria near I-25. The male victim, who was shot in the back, later crawled into the street about three hours after the shooting. APD says the man, who has yet to be identified, was eventually killed after vehicle accidentally ran him over.
While investigating the shooting Monday, detectives watched surveillance video from the nearby Ambassador Inn on Candelaria near I-25. Police say detectives recognized the suspected shooters as “resembling the suspects in a separate investigation from October 2022.” At the time, detectives still didn’t know the names of the two men.
Nearby, detectives found a moped in the office of the Ambassador Inn that was spray painted red. According to a criminal complaint, detectives believe the moped was originally painted orange.
Through the course of their investigation at the Ambassador Inn, police were able to identify the men in the surveillance video as Rickords and Robinson. According to a complaint, Robinson worked as a security guard at the Ambassador Inn for about three years and had been friends with Rickords for about a year. Both of the men were said to come and go from the property.
After police identified the men, both were tracked to the Extend-A-Suites motel on Menaul where they were arrested Monday around 8 p.m. Police say surveillance video of the shooting on Candelaria shows two men with similar complexion and builds to Rickords and Robinson hit a victim with a long silver pole before stepping away. Police say the video then shows the two suspects raise firearms before at least one of the guns is discharged.
Rickord and Robinson have yet to be charged in the Candelaria shooting case. APD says detectives are continuing to investigate the case.