Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Teen charged in fatal shooting in SW ABQ

A 14-year-old was arrested after an allegedly opening fire with an automatic rifle, killing a man, outside a house party early Thursday morning in Southwest Albuquerque.

The homicide, according to police, was one of several violent crimes committed by a group of teens over several hours that ended in a police chase and crash on the West Side.

Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Izaiah Ruiz, 14, was charged with an open count of murder and armed robbery in the death of Eddy Ortiz, 21.

He said Diego Padilla, 15, was also charged with armed robbery and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer in the string of incidents.

It began when a group of teens carjacked two people at gunpoint outside a party at Ortiz’s home, near Bataan and Coors SW, on Wednesday night.

Gallegos said the group returned to the home in the stolen cars around 3 on Thursday and threatened several people outside. He said one person outside the home pulled out a pistol before “several shots were fired.”

Gallegos said witnesses told police Ruiz fired an assault rifle “reportedly modified for use as an automatic weapon” and a bullet struck Ortiz, who was in the house at the time.

He said several hours later a woman reported that several teens pointed guns at her and tried to carjack her after following her into a gated community at 7500 Bluewater NW.

Gallegos said police responded to an armed robbery near West Mesa High but did not locate the suspects. He said soon after police spotted the car stolen from outside Ortiz’s home and “a pursuit was authorized.”

Gallegos said the car crashed into a cinder block wall at Montaño and Picture Rock NW, before Ruiz ran from the car holding a black rifle. He said officers detained Ruiz as he ran between houses in the area.

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Gallegos said officers followed the driver of the crashed car, detaining 15-year-old Diego Padilla and finding a handgun and rifle in a backyard.

“Detectives determined that bullet casings at the murder scene matched the same brand of ammunition collected from the rifle recovered at the scene of the crash on Thursday,” he said. “(The) Crime Lab also tested the casings, which resulted in a presumptive positive match.”

Gallegos said Ruiz was questioned by detectives, but “eventually declined to answer additional questions.”

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