- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Another Albuquerque teenager is dead from gunfire.

In the third incident in four months, Albuquerque juveniles were involved in a fatal shooting Monday morning. A 14-year-old was killed and two other teens were shot and injured around 2 a.m. while hanging out in a group at Pat Hurley Park on the city’s West Side.

Police identified the dead teen as Isaiah Albright. They did not identify the other two who were shot, but said they are both expected to fully recover. Police said they believe the shooting was a drive-by, and no one had been arrested by late Monday.

“Homicide detectives are actively pursuing leads and ask the public to contact 242-COPS with any information regarding this incident,” police spokesman Tanner Tixier said.

Pat Hurley Park, northeast of Coors and Central, has been the scene of gun violence at least two other times in recent years and the city has placed portable cameras at the park at times to monitor the area. The cameras were not in the area of the shooting early Monday.

Albright’s slaying comes on the heels of two other recent high-profile shootings involving teens in Albuquerque.

In late March, Jaquise Lewis, 17, was shot and killed during a fight at Los Altos Skate Park in Northeast Albuquerque. Six others were injured in the shooting. Police said Lewis’ killing was self-defense and said he fired a gun during a gunfight at the park.

A few months later, Jaydon Chavez-Silver, a 17-year-old Manzano High School athlete, was shot and killed as he watched other teens play cards at a gathering at a friend’s house in the Northeast Heights. The bullets went through a bay window, and police have not identified a suspect or made any arrests in the case.

Reports of shots fired

On Monday, officers were called to Pat Hurley Park around 2 a.m. after multiple residents reported hearing shots fired, officer Fred Duran said.

“Officers arrived in the area and located one subject lying in the roadway who had sustained at least one gunshot wound,” Duran said.

He said rescue workers were unable to save the victim.

At least two other teens were treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital.

All three of the victims were juveniles, he said.

Duran said when police arrived, there was a large group of teens in the park, and officers interviewed them and released them to their parents.

Duran said police do not have a suspect and have not made any arrests.

Albuquerque police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said police don’t believe any of the recent incidents involving teens are connected.

Chris Salcido, 15, was one of the teens shot and injured early Monday.

He said he was hanging out with friends in the park when he saw a red car drive past and make a U-turn in the parking lot. As the car drove back by the group, someone opened fire, hitting him and two other teens.

After being treated at a hospital, Salcido returned to the park with his mother.

He told the Journal that he had been shot in the back, that another boy was hit and injured and that one boy was struck in the head and died.

Salcido said he and the other victim who was shot and injured go to West Mesa High School.

Salcido’s mother, JoyLynn Duran, said that her son was staying with his grandmother that night and that she didn’t consider 1 a.m. as being too late for her son to be out with friends.

She said that Salcido’s grandma took him to her house after he was shot and that she drove him to the hospital. JoyLynn Duran said a bullet is lodged in her son’s shoulder, and will likely have to be surgically removed in a few weeks.

“I was blessed. If it would have went any further it would have gone through his heart,” she said. “I feel for my son, because he had to see the little boy pass away in front of him.”

Salcido said she thinks the shooting was a random act of violence, not targeting someone at the park.

“It’s senseless,” she said. “My thoughts and prayers are to that little boy’s family. He was an innocent person; it shouldn’t have happened to him or any of these kids.” But Scott Gibbs, 15, said he heard there was a fight before the shooting.

Gibbs said he met Isaiah Albright earlier that night at a friend’s house but left to go home before the teens gathered at the park.

“It’s pretty crazy. I feel lucky I didn’t get shot,” he said.

Park site of past violence

Jen Samp, a spokeswoman for Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation Department, said that the park closes at 10 p.m. and that the teens were not supposed to be hanging out there after hours.

She said police are responsible for enforcing the park’s curfew hours and combating crime.

Officials say they have tried to make the park a popular spot for families by upgrading the facilities.

Espinoza, the APD spokeswoman, said she didn’t know how many times police have been called to that park.

But previous Journal stories report that the park has been the scene of violent crimes in the past. In 2011, a 15-year-old boy was paralyzed when two car clubs met at the park and a fight exploded into gunfire. And in 2013, a man was shot in the stomach at the park. He apparently survived.

Neighbors and those who frequented the park in recent years have been on edge about crime in the area.

Those concerns prompted calls to city officials to start monitoring the park with surveillance cameras. In the summer of 2014, in a ceremony attended by City Councilor Ken Sanchez and APD Cmdr. Harold Medina, officials unveiled surveillance cameras for the park.

“We will keep Pat Hurley safe,” Sanchez said at the time.

But the cameras aren’t a permanent fixture at the park, Espinoza said. Police move them around the area based on where they believe they are needed.

Sanchez said the park needs permanent cameras at the lower part of the park, where the shooting occurred.

“Unfortunately, the mobile camera wasn’t there,” Sanchez said. “This has happened in 2011, 2013 and now in 2015. (The camera) could have prevented this from happening. It’s just really unfortunate.”

Journal staff photographer Roberto E.

Rosales contributed to this report


(c)2015 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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