ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More police resources, from DWI units to investigators, will soon be moving into downtown. This comes in response to a reported increase in gun activity, and as more businesses get ready to reopen.
Police say there’s been a recent trend of groups hanging out in empty parking lots along Central in downtown on Friday and Saturday nights. The Albuquerque Police Department adds that those groups typically have guns or are using narcotics, with the intent to cause trouble.
“We have had a couple of incidents, most recently last weekend with a couple of groups shooting guns at each other, which obviously was very dangerous. It impacted a few cars of people who weren’t even involved with it,” APD Spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos stated.
The weekend before that, online records show APD responded to a report of a man with a gun in a parking lot off Central and 2nd. The suspect fled police and rammed his car into a parked vehicle in the parking lot with people inside to make his escape. Police say the groups meeting in parking lots are separate from lowriders and others coming to enjoy downtown.
APD will be adding more resources to downtown starting May 29 to help crack down on crime. The department is launching a 60-day operation, bringing in DWI units, tactical officers and investigators to help out the downtown officers Thursdays through Sundays. APD is calling it proactive policing and a way to encourage people to feel safe when visiting downtown.
“We know when more businesses and bars open up, we anticipate there will be larger crowds and since we’ve seen the increase in gun activity, we do want to address that proactively and keep that away from downtown,” Gallegos stated.
Police said they also have zero tolerance for racing and other traffic violations in downtown and are making traffic stops. APD added that there were no reported shootings when they had a similar operation along Montgomery last month.
As for that shooting in downtown Sunday night, APD said one victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said they’re making progress on that case and expect to charge someone soon.