Victim’s family speaks out after deadly shooting near Old Town

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police have identified the victim of a road rage shooting Wednesday in Albuquerque’s Old Town area as Nelson Gallegos Jr.

"So sudden that somebody just killed my son like that, innocently, and with a grandchild inside the car, and just left him there to die," Nelson Gallegos Sr. said.

The family of Gallegos Jr. is in shock and disbelief that their loved one is gone.

"We lost a brother, a son, a husband, a nephew, an uncle and a grandfather," said Michelle Martinez, the sister Gallegos Jr.

Gallegos Jr. was a military veteran who was active at church and in Albuquerque’s lowrider community. He worked at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

"My husband, he’s a veteran, he served in the military,” said Jeannie Gallegos. “Went to Iraq twice, two tours and to get murdered on the street by a coward is unbelievable to me, just unbelievable."

Gallegos Jr. was shot and killed Wednesday morning on Central near Rio Grande. It was his birthday. Police say he appears to be a victim of road rage. Gallegos Jr.’s family said he was driving his 7-year-old grandson to school when it happened. His grandson witnessed the shooting.

"And for him to pass away like this on his birthday just breaks our hearts because we weren’t even able to say goodbye to him or happy birthday,” Martinez said. “I wasn’t even able to tell him happy birthday. I tried to call him. I tried to text him and he wouldn’t answer and I didn’t know why. And I was so busy working I didn’t see the news so I didn’t know. I didn’t know."

His family is now pleading for the shooter to turn themselves in so they can get closure and justice for their loved one.

"Here’s what I want to say to the person that did this,” Martinez said. “If you’re out there and you’re listening and you can see me and you can hear me, I want you to know that we have prayed a prayer of forgiveness for you. As a family, we did this. We know that if you don’t pay here on earth you’re going to pay somewhere so please turn yourself in so you can, can have the lesser of the two evils happen to you."

“You’re a coward dude,” Gallegos said. “This man was the best man, best man ever. This is so unbelievable that this could happen to him. You are an animal. A demon."

Police have not released any information about the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle that took off.

KOB 4 asked for an update Thursday but police didn’t release any more information about the investigation besides confirming the victim’s identity.