Renowned Native American artist dies after confrontation
Posted at: 09/18/2012 7:36 PM
| Updated at: 09/18/2012 10:26 PM
By: KOB.com Staff
KOB Eyewitness News 4 learned what led to the death of a renowned Native American artist outside a Subway restaurant Monday night.
Albuquerque police confirmed on Tuesday that Rayono “Kirk” Smith died after being thrown from a moving pickup truck near Menaul and Princeton.
According to Smith’s family, he and his wife were in town buying supplies for his silver jewelry-making business when they stopped at the Subway to eat before heading back to their home in Grants.
That is when a blue Dodge pickup drove through the parking lot and hit Smith’s truck. An eyewitness told KOB that Smith went out to confront the driver, but that the driver and two others in the truck just laughed. Then they drove off and Smith jumped onto the truck's hood. The driver swerved to get Smith off the truck. Smith did fall and was found critically injured on Claremont Street. He later died at University of New Mexico Hospital.
Smith's cousin, Calvin Martinez told KOB the reason Smith confronted the driver of the pickup truck, was to get him to stay in the parking lot until the police could be called.
The Albuquerque Police Department is asking anyone with information about the suspects or the blue Dodge pickup to contact them.