ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque homicide detectives arrested a suspect on Tuesday in connection to a murder last year. The Albuquerque Police Department reports that 38-year-old Juan Pacheco III was arrested and charged with the November 13 murder of 19-year-old Joseph Morales.
Pacheco is accused of fatally shooting Morales in the area of Dallas St. and Copper. In a news release, APD reports that officers were initially dispatched to a residence on Dallas St. where they say 10 gunshots were reported by a ShotSpotter activation.
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Officers at the scene reportedly checked the area and were flagged down by a resident who notified them of a vehicle that had crashed into the backyard of another residence on Dallas St. Police discovered one individual who was later identified as Morales with gunshot wounds inside the vehicle.
Morales died at the scene. Authorities state that officers searched the area and found blood and casings in front of the initial Dallas residence. They also state that they discovered a blood trail that led across the street into an apartment on Pennsylvania St.
Police found a male inside the apartment with a gunshot wound who was transported to a local hospital for treatment. APD reports that through an investigation, detectives learned that the victim, Morales, allegedly challenged people at the scene who are said to have pointed firearms at his friends.
Police say Morales fought with one individual. Authorities report that Pacheco admitted to firing a gun, striking Morales and another individual at the scene.
Pacheco has been charged with an open count of murder, tampering with evidence, felon in possession of a firearm, and aggravated battery with a firearm. He has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. Pacheco is a convicted felon with a long criminal history ranging from drug charges to aggravated assault.