Devastating news has hit the University of New Mexico community as a Lobo baseball player was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Nob Hill. Twenty-three-year-old Jackson Weller died after he was shot near Central and Richmond around 2 a.m.
Saturday night, a small memorial went up for Weller in the UNM Baseball locker room.
“There’s no reason for it. This neighborhood needs better police presence. It needs less bars and restaurants and more community activity in a positive sense instead of a negative sense,” said Mike D’Elia who owns a nearby business.
The University of New Mexico junior was set to take the field this fall but after being shot, was taken to UNM Hospital where he was pronounced dead. At this time, no one is in custody and police have not publicly identified a suspect.
The details of what led up to the shooting are still unclear, but the owner of the bar Imbibe, tells KRQE News 13 that their surveillance cameras captured the whole confrontation. Police have released little information at this point.
“Nob Hill is a great neighborhood with a great business, great living neighborhood and there’s no reason anything like this should ever take place,” said D’Ellia.
The shooting proves this popular area of Albuquerque is no exception to gun violence, a major problem the city says it’s actively working to solve.
“What were the community factors that we could sort of impact that might’ve prevented these folds from being together at the wrong time, with a gun, in the street in Nob Hill in the middle of the night,” said Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis.
Manny community members think more police here, especially on weekend nights when the bars are closing, is one answer to the issue.
“I would feel way more secure,” said resident Mason Lammers.
Police would not tell KRQE News 13 how many officers were in the area at the time of the shooting, or how long it took to respond to the shooting, Mayor Tim Keller, who just sent letters to UNM prospects encouraging them to come here despite the city’s challenges, released a statement saying in part, that Albuqeruque will continue to fight back against gun violence in “every way”.
City Councilor Pat Davis says the loss of a student is just as saddening as it is frustrating.
APD’s triangle substation in Nob Hill was reopened last summer to give more police presence. However, it’s only staffed until 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Lobo Athletics released a statement calling Weller’s death a senseless tragedy and devastating to the entire Lobo family.
“The loss of Jackson Weller is devastating to the entire Lobo family. He was a very special young man whose absence will be deeply felt. On behalf of Lobo Athletics and The University of New Mexico I would like to extend our sincerest condolences to his family friends, teammates and all who knew him – please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. our immediate focus will be on continuing to support all who are affected as they cope with this senseless tragedy,” said Athletics Director Eddie Nunez.
The UNM Baseball team said via Twitter that the team’s weekend series against Air Force has been postponed as a result of this tragedy.