Weekend homicide brings attention to ‘mini Coronado Park’

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Drugs, trash, and vandalism are the list of concerns for many surrounding businesses near the “mini-Coronado Park” growing on 1st St. under I-40, but things have taken a turn for the worse. 

A man who we are not identifying for privacy reasons told KOB 4 he was here for one reason – his son was shot and killed in the area of 1st St. and Indian School early Sunday morning.

He told KOB 4 off camera his son frequented this area on and off. 

Unfortunately, to some business owners we spoke to, the news of this homicide is not surprising.

“Well I’m not really surprised, it’s bound to happen, you know, traffic goes on that street, cars stop there all the time. Sometimes it’s pretty nice cars at all hours of the night, it makes me wonder what they are stopping for,” said Steven Garcia, owner of Lucky Boyz Limo. 

About two weeks ago, KOB 4 told you about the ongoing homeless crisis which moved just a couple blocks away from Coronado Park. 

Fires on sidewalks, drug use in broad daylight are just some of the issues that business owners nearby say they deal with on a day-to-day.

“I’ve put up a new wrought iron fence, they’ve broken a couple of bars off to try to get in the back or whatever they need the bars for, I don’t know. But the trash they just leave everything a mess, they don’t pick up after themselves maybe because they don’t have a trash can, or they just don’t care,” said Garcia.  

Garcia bought the old Maaco Auto Shop next to the underpass about five months ago. He says alcohol bottles and even needles have been a daily sight on his property. 

This area also serves as a pickup spot for the West Side Emergency Shelter.

According to a public affairs specialist for the city’s Family And Community Services, they are currently exploring alternatives to that pick up location, especially after Sunday’s homicide – but they still don’t have one. 

City representatives say the land under the highway is state property, and Albuquerque officials says that they are in communication with state police and the Department of Transportation to leverage additional resources.