Police are looking for a man accused in the fatal shooting of a woman outside an apartment complex last year in Northeast Albuquerque.
Michael Kelly, 29, is charged with an open count of murder in the Nov. 18, 2021, death of 29-year-old Brandi Rael.
Albuquerque police spokeswoman Rebecca Atkins said Kelly is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 170 pounds, with several tattoos on his arms, chest and abdomen.
Atkins said anyone with information on Kelly’s whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at (505) 843-STOP.
The gun used to kill Rael, according to court records, was traced to at least 10 prior incidents in East Central neighborhoods since 2021, including multiple shootings, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Metropolitan Court. Police said a search of Kelly’s cellular data put him in the vicinity of six of those incidents, including Rael’s homicide.
On the day of the shooting, officers responded around 7:40 a.m. to the Copper Ridge Apartments on Tramway, near Copper, for reports of a woman dead inside a car. Police found Rael fatally shot inside a car that had bullet holes in it.
Police had responded to reports of gunfire at the complex around 1 a.m. but found no signs of a disturbance and left, according to the affidavit. Surveillance video showed a suspect get out of the car and interact with Rael before firing at her from the passenger side.
Police said the video showed the shooter head toward the apartments moments before a light went on in the bedroom of an apartment which Kelly lived in. Detectives determined Rael was also known to visit the apartment and the couple were in a ongoing relationship due to a recent police report from a domestic dispute.
Kelly told police he had been in an argument with Rael in the parking lot but walked away as it got heated and didn’t see her again, according to the affidavit. Police found similar fentanyl pills both in Rael’s car and the bedroom Kelly reportedly slept in.
“Due to the present lack of specific evidence at the time, no arrest was made,” according to the affidavit. The father of Rael’s children told police he heard she went to the apartment to get her stuff back from Kelly, who had stolen a .40 caliber handgun from her.