Albuquerque smoke shop owner takes down armed robber in viral video
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Video of an attempted robbery at an Albuquerque smoke shop is quickly spreading on social media.
Some call the store owner a hero, but others say he took it too far. So, KOB 4 spoke to the shop owners Friday, and they said the video only shows part of the story.
On Wednesday afternoon, a masked man armed with a handgun is seen walking into the X Smoke Shop on San Mateo. He makes a B-line into the back office and starts shouting.
“Hey foo! Where you at? Get the f*** out here now dog,” the robber can be heard shouting off-screen in the video.
The owner of the store, Ibraim Alqam, was right next door. He saw him on his surveillance video and returned to his shop.
“I saw someone walk straight to the office on the camera. I just went back to my shop, then I saw the gun in his hand! So, I just had to take control for the gun,” Alqam said.
That’s where this viral video starts, with Alqam tackling the armed robber. He knocks the gun out of his hand, pinning him to the ground.
“Yeah my brother saw me beating someone on the camera then he came to help,” Alqam said.
Together they were able to pin him down and call 911. While this moment is where the video ends, the Alqam brothers say there is more to the story.
“While we had him pinned, then his girlfriend came in and sprayed us with pepper spray,” Alqam explained. “She ran out the front, he tried to run out the back but it was locked so we were able to tackle him again, then the police showed up,”
While the girlfriend was able to get away, Julian Martinez was arrested. He went in front of a judge and faces multiple charges including armed robbery, assault, and felon in possession of a firearm. The district attorney’s office has asked a judge to keep Martinez behind bars before trial.
“I’m so glad my brothers handled it as you see in the video, I think they handled it 100% in my opinion. It was the best-case scenario they didn’t get injured, nothing was stolen, we got lucky nothing got damaged. I don’t know how, but somehow nothing got damaged,” Ibraim’s brother Ziad Alqam said.
APD officials say they don’t recommend anyone to handle an armed robbery this way. But the Alqam family says they are frustrated with the crime in their neighborhood and hope no one else has to go through what they did.
“We want to protect our business we work hard for it my brother works from 8 in the morning to 9 p.m.,” Zaid said. “We are just tired from the break-ins, especially on small businesses, not always us, but just leave small businesses – they are barely making it.”