Albuquerque police: 2 charged for armed robbery, fatal shooting

Police investigate deadly shooting in SE Albuquerque – 5 p.m. update

Police responded to a shooting in southeast Albuquerque early Sunday morning.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police have charged two people with the fatal armed robbery of a 75-year-old man in southeast Albuquerque early Sunday morning.

Albuquerque police responded to a shooting early Sunday morning in the 1000 block of Valencia Drive SE, between Anderson and Ross. They found a man with a gunshot wound who was pronounced dead.

Homicide detectives found the couple allegedly stole from the victim and tracked it. New Mexico State Police then arrested them late Monday at the Villanueva State Park near Las Vegas, N.M.

Police charged 26-year-old James Caleb Gonzales and 31-year-old Destiny Pacheco with an open count of murder with a firearm enhancement.

An investigation found the couple went to the apartment with the intent of robbing 75-year-old Henry Velarde. Velarde had met Pacheco several days earlier and even allowed her to stay at his apartment for a few days.

Detectives accuse Gonzales of showing up at Velarde’s door with a handgun and starting a physical confrontation with him before shooting him in the abdomen.

The couple allegedly took off with some of Velarde’s belongings, including mobile phones, his ID and debit cards that they reportedly used. That is how they tracked one of the phones down and eventually arrested the couple.

The couple also reportedly carjacked the vehicle police found during the arrest. Detectives also matched a bullet casing from the homicide to a March 3 incident where Gonzales is a suspect in the shooting of his ex-girlfriend.

Gonzales also allegedly had two firearms and Velarde’s ID with him during the arrest Monday.

In addition to murder charges, the couple also faces charges for armed robbery, vehicle theft, unauthorized use of debit cards, resisting arrest and conspiracy.