Dispensary worker shot by teen during attempted car theft

Dispensary worker shot by teen during attemped car theft

A dispensary employee went outside when he noticed a young man trying to steal his car.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — We are seeing younger and younger kids get arrested for serious crimes in New Mexico. The most recent involves an 11-year-old who was arrested for a series of violent crimes. The child is reportedly part of the group known as the “Kia Boys” and is now in custody for a series of violent crimes.

Now we’re hearing from a man who believes he could be a victim of the “Kia Boys” or a group with similar tactics.

KOB 4 received a tip from a viewer about his coworker who was shot while someone was trying to steal his Kia. The victim, Vincent Gallegos, then gave us a call to share his side of the story.

On Black Friday last year Gallegos’ coworker, Logan Lucero, heard his friend’s car alarm going off. This happened at Stop and Smell the Flower Dispensary, now named Vice Dispensary. Gallegos went outside to check things out when he noticed the window broken and saw a young man trying to steal his car.

“I walked outside to just turn off the alarm. And there was a kid in my car trying to steal it. And he had one in the chamber. Then he turned around and shot me in my arm. That was really it,” Vincent Gallegos recalled. “I felt like I was struck by lightning, it all happened super fast. But I know they caught the kid that did it. So I’m glad that he’s not out here causing more trouble for the city.”

He believes that kid is 19-year-old Juanito Montoya, who is currently behind bars for a December homicide. Gallegos says he’ll never forget his face. Surveillance video shows the suspect running off after the shooting. After getting shot, Lucero says Gallegos ran inside the store for help. 

While Gallegos is physically healed, the mental trauma from that situation is still lingering for him and his coworkers. 

“It really sucked what happened, but it made me a better man. telling my story going forward, I would just tell everybody to lean on God. Everything happens for a reason,” Gallegos said.

Lucero recounted that night. “I had heard him screaming pretty loud shouting that he was shot and injured. There was notably blood scene and everything. It was a pretty traumatic experience,” Lucero continued, “We finally had like, gotten some rags from the shop, used for dusting and torniquet his arms so he wouldn’t like bleed out and the police showed up after.”

Juanito Montoya is currently in jail. Police say he shot and killed Adrian Vallejos last December. He was arrested last week. A judge ruled he will stay in jail until his trial.

KOB 4 reached out to APD to see if Montoya is connected to the dispensary shooting but hasn’t heard back.