ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque dad is now facing child abuse and weapons charges after police say he made his underage son drive him to get alcohol, then drive him away from a shooting near a DWI checkpoint.
The shooting happened just before midnight Saturday near San Mateo and Candelaria. Albuquerque Police say about 20 to 30 officers were looking for drunk drivers just north of the intersection when they heard between seven to eight shots. It was anything but peaceful on the night before Easter for both police and neighbors.
“Totally irresponsible of this individual,” said Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for Albuquerque Police.
“”It’s crazy, its disgusting and it’s definitely out of line,” said Ryan Schmitt, a neighbor who lives near the scene of the shooting.
The gun shots came from the parking lot of a nearby gas station. Within seconds of the shooting, police caught up with 33-year old Sergio Barrientos Sr. Police say the suspect’s 13-year old son was driving his truck.
The boy told police that his dad was stumbling around their house and wanted to go to the store. Police say Barrientos Sr. then made his son drive to the gas station at the corner of San Mateo and Arvilla to go pick up more alcohol.
“We had about 30 to 40 officers over here, lights sirens, cones, everything you need to be involved in a DWI checkpoint,” said officer Drobik.
While Barrientos Sr. was at the gas station, police say he got into a fight with a random man, pulled a gun out of his truck, then shot at the man, but missed. Police say the other seven to eight shots went into the air.
APD says officers working the nearby DWI checkpoint heard the shots and saw the muzzle flashes.
“What the officers thought immediately is that they were getting shot at. They took cover immediately and saw the vehicle speed way and they knew that vehicle has something to do with the gunshots,” said officer Drobik.
“Within 15 seconds, cops came speeding down the road with their sirens on,” said Schmitt, who saw police pull the truck over in a nearby neighborhood.
Police say the 13-year old had no idea what he had gotten into, but was scared for his life.
“The 13 year old looked completely shell shocked at that moment,” said officer Drobik.
Police say Barrientos tried to fight his arrest, yelling racial slurs and “f*** the police” at arresting officers. Drobik says Barrientos also tried to kick the windows out of a police cruiser. They say it’s luck that no one was hurt.
“This could be a whole different call, we could still be here conducting a homicide investigation,” said officer Drobik. “We have these again and again and what’s going to happen is an innocent person is going to get killed because of the irresponsibility of somebody who’s drunk, has a 13 year old driving to a place to get beer and starts firing random shots into the air.”
While Barrientos Sr. is facing child abuse and weapons charges, the boy isn’t facing any charges. Police say that’s because he was not in on the fight or the shooting and was in fear for his life.
Barrientos Sr. is likely to face a judge on Monday morning.