Family shares memories of postal carrier killed on-duty; suspect in custody

The Albuquerque Police Department confirms the teen accused of killing a mailman when he tried to break up a fight between the boy and his mother, has been arrested. 

The family of Jose Hernandez, the postal carrier killed while on duty Monday, says he lived by the key principles of duty, honor and helping others.

His brother says he never actually went by Jose, but rather Pepe; and to learn the way he lost his life, he says they weren’t surprised it was because he was trying to help someone. 

Police say Hernandez was shot and killed Monday on his route near 98th and Tower after he tried to break up a dispute between 17-year-old Xavier Zamora and his mother outside their home.

As flowers and messages for Jose Hernandez grow at the site where he was killed and at the post office where he worked, behind closed doors there’s a family mourning. 

“It was a shock. I think we were all in shock, and I think we still are,” said Martin Hernandez.  

Martin is one of Pepe’s five siblings; but he says Pepe was more than just a brother, he was also a father of four kids, a husband and a friend. Hernandez said his brother had a way of standing out. 

“He was a big guy, he was taller than I was and a lot broader from the shoulders, and he just had a really big personality that matched his size,” he said.

Hernandez also served with the Army Corps of Engineers; and as Hernandez died trying to save someone, his brother says he would have never expected anything less. 

“When we found out that this happened to him, we felt that that was a way that if he were to chose a way to leave this earth, it would probably be doing something like that,” he said.

Whether it was his military training, his big heart, or love of superheroes, Hernandez lost his life the way he lived it.

“In his mind and in his heart, he always thought and did things like a superhero,” said his brother. 

Pepe’s wife also released a statement saying that he loved his family, enjoyed working as a DJ for his church and was a faithful member of the Church of Latter Day Saints.  

Police say Zamora was arrested at a home in southwest Albuquerque on Wednesday night. He was taken into custody without incident. 

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