Police are investigating a fatal shootout in an East Central neighborhood Monday night. Detectives say the shooter acted in self-defense when he shot a man who attacked him with a blunt object. (Robert Browman / Albuquerque Journal) Detectives say a Las Cruces man acted in self-defense when he fatally shot and killed another man in a neighborhood in eastern Albuquerque Monday night.
Even so, the police arrested 46-year-old James Lawrence, the shooter, for parole violation and was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said Lawrence could also be charged with possession of a firearm in Monday’s shooting that killed 40-year-old Francisco Fonseca.
He said murder detectives worked with the 2nd District Attorney’s Office to determine the shooting was warranted because Fonseca attacked Lawrence with a blunt object. He did not provide any information about the background of the incident.
Officials responded to the shooting at a house on the 200 block of Grove NE, a few blocks northwest of Central and Pennsylvania, at around 6 p.m. The police discovered Fonseca “lifeless”.
Witnesses at the scene told detectives that Lawrence shot Fonseca in self-defense when Fonseca attacked him with a blunt object.
“Lawrence is not being charged with the shooting, which is considered a justified murder,” Gallegos said.
Lawrence was on parole after serving in 2019 on a case in which he stabbed a Las Cruces Walmart employee trying to deter him from shoplifting.
Following his arrest on the case, Lawrence told police that he was stealing groceries for his family and “defending himself” when he stabbed the clerk with a knife.
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