Crime spikes over holiday shopping weekend in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A dangerous few days in Albuquerque wrapped up with two shootings and a vandalism spree in three popular shopping areas. 

Retailers were expecting a surge of shoppers ahead of Black Friday this year – just not the kind they got.

Police swarmed Albuquerque’s Coronado Center Friday after multiple people reported a shooting.

“APD officers, our Emergency Communications Center, got calls coming in at 3:52 shortly before 4 p.m. at Coronado Mall that there were reports of shots being fired,” said APD Public Information Officer Gilbert Gallegos on Friday. 

APD says 14-year-old Isaiah Montoya and another teen got in a fight with two other juveniles inside the mall. 

“BCSO off duty lieutenant saw what was happening and got into a foot pursuit of the offender, chased him out of the mall area. That offender was able to get out and leave the mall area, so we know he is not in the mall,” said Gallegos. 

Montoya allegedly pulled out a gun and fired one shot outside the mall, causing shoppers to flee in a panic.

“It was terrifying, but I am relieved,” said Jill Deniston and Tiffany McQueary, JC Penney workers.

Not 24 hours later, another shopping area on Albuquerque’s West Side, near Cottonwood Mall, cleared out after police say two people tried shoplifting from Kohl’s. 

They arrested a woman, but a man made a run for it. 

“The male suspect then fled into the Cold Stone Creamery that had customers inside. Officers began to try to evacuate people out of the Cold Stone Creamery for their safety,” said APD Deputy Chief Mike Smathers on Saturday. 

Officers taped off three areas near Cottonwood Mall, Kohl’s, Cold Stone, and the Medical Plaza across the street on Alameda. 

“Officers made contact with the male suspect there, attempted to get him to surrender and yield to arrest. He refused to do that, and shots were fired,” said Smathers. 

That suspect died after getting shot by police. 

In Albuquerque’s Old Town, owners of Genuine Southwest woke up to shattered glass and a broken window.

In surveillance video overnight into Saturday, people can see someone breaking the window and coming inside the store, leaving a mess for the owners to clean up.

Their neighbors, Tiny Grocer ABQ, also had their window busted. both of the stores were able to open late Saturday.

One business owner – who wanted to remain anonymous – says sadly these situations are becoming common in Old Town.

“It happens quite a bit. So, there’s nothing we can do, we just have to kind of work around it. It’s unfortunate,” said the Old Town business owner.