Witness: ‘Regular guy’ killed by bicycle thief on Central Ave

Albuquerque Police are still searching for a killer on the loose after a man was murdered on Central Avenue Wednesday morning.

KRQE News 13 is learning more about what led up to the shooting from people who saw it all unfold, which includes APD detectives who were having breakfast just feet from where the homicide took place.

It’s back to business as normal at the Central Grill and Coffee House Thursday, but heavy on the hearts of those who work there is the man who took his last breath just outside the cafe Wednesday morning.

Thursday evening, APD identified the victim as 43-year-old Isaac Candelaria. 

KRQE News 13 spoke with Laura Pomroy, who was on shift at the restaurant when it happened. 

“We had a few people in the restaurant and we heard a ‘pop!’ A really loud ‘pop!'” she said.

Pomroy quickly learned when she started her job there, that many of the regulars at Central Grill and Coffee House are APD officers. The APD substation is next door.

“We had several detectives that were inside having breakfast and they rushed out,” Pomroy said. “One of the detectives drew his gun and went eastbound and the other detective went to the victim, the gentleman that was on the ground.”

Pomroy says a witness at the bus stop explained what happened up to that moment.

“From what we understand, he was waiting for the bus and he had his bike there, and somebody approached and came and grabbed the bike and tried to steal it,” she said. “And he grabbed onto his bike and tried to hold onto his bike, and the guy pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest.”

Candelaria was dying right there, but they tried to comfort him.

“The detective was holding his hand and talking to him and trying to encourage him to stay with us,” she said.

The horrific turn of events prompted a massive search of the nearby Bosque, with law enforcement scouring for the killer until after sunset at about 6:30 p.m. The search was unsuccessful in locating the suspect and was called off.

“There is no known relationship between the victim and the offender at this time,” Deputy Chief Harold Medina with APD said.

“Just a regular guy going about his day,” Pomroy said. “It could have been anybody sitting there, waiting for the bus.”

Police have not said if the bicycle, considered a critical piece of evidence, had been located.

Thursday afternoon, police dive crews were searching the Tingley Beach waters for something, possibly in connection to the murder.

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