A Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy is being credited for stopping a person from taking a loaded gun into an Albuquerque courthouse.
Kristyn Garrett, 38, is facing misdemeanor charges for unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon and inference with public officials.
Garrett is accused of trying to sneak a loaded gun past courthouse security at the Bernalillo County District Court building on the corner of Fourth Street and Lomas.
Speaking of the incident Thursday, Court Executive Officer Jim Noel called it “very scary.”
“It was a very alarming situation,” said Noel.
According to a criminal complaint, Garrett tried to enter the courthouse around 9:30 Thursday morning by going through the normal security procedures.
When Garrett put her purse through the x-ray machine, according to the criminal complaint, a deputy noticed a “straight bar of metal that resembled the top slide of a gun.”
“As it turns out she was carrying a loaded weapon,” said Noel.
The criminal complaint states that after the first scan, the deputy asked Garrett what was in her purse. According to the complaint, Garrett responded, saying it was a “clip to a Kuboton that she took out of her purse.” She also told deputies the item was a pen.
According to the complaint, the deputy then scanned the purse a second time and determined it was a gun.
“When he did that, it was very clear there was a weapon in her purse,” said Noel.
Noel says the courthouse didn’t go into lockdown, but deputies secured the weapon and no one was hurt.
“I can’t thank our security staff enough, all of them,” said Noel.
The criminal complaint states that Garrett said the weapon “was not her’s” and that “her ex-husband placed it in there to set her up.”
Garrett was heading to a custody hearing in a divorce case.
Noel says in his three years working for the county district court, no one has intentionally tried to bring a gun into the courthouse. He estimates there have been two other instances where someone has accidentally tried to bring a gun into the court.
“This was slightly different than that,” said Noel of Thursday’s incident versus the one’s he’s dealt with in the past.
“It’s rather unusual to have this exact.. this exact situation,” said Noel.
Noel says the deputy who caught it made everyone safer.
“Albert Naranjo, Deputy Sheriff Naranjo was on top of his game today, and we’re very grateful,” said Noel.
Garrett was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center Thursday night on her own recognizance.