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An apartment parking lot in Southeast Albuquerque was blocked off by crime scene tape on Sunday, and on the other side of the barrier, homicide detectives investigated blood stains.
It’s a scene that has played out over and over in Albuquerque this year.
Albuquerque police on Sunday were called to the area of Kathryn and Madeira SE on a reported stabbing, Rebecca Atkins, a police spokeswoman, said in an email. A deceased person was found and the Homicide Unit launched an investigation, she said.
It was the 100th homicide investigation launched by the Albuquerque Police Department this year, according to APD officials. And it continued the city’s march toward another record number of homicides in a year, police said on Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s anything any of us wanted to be talking about,” Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said during a media briefing on Sunday. “But I think it’s important that we admit where we’re at. We’ve had a lot of violence this past year.”
Sunday’s homicide appeared to be similar to the circumstance of many previous cases, Medina said. There was some sort of personal dispute between two people that led to a violent interaction.
He said police have a person of interest in custody, but no other details about the victim or suspect were released on Sunday.
Albuquerque police have seen a spike in violence in recent years. There was a high mark of 119 homicides in 2021.
Medina said he doesn’t expect the slayings to slow down.
“I think we should be prepared,” he said. “Last year we had a record-setting year, and I don’t see this slowing down.”
“One individual was located with wounds and was taken to the hospital listed in critical condition,” Atkins wrote in an email. “This has been made a Serious Crimes Callout.”
Medina on Sunday advocated for more resources for the state’s criminal justice system. He asked for better pay for prosecutors, conflict resolution courses for children and more options for mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Every homicide is a tragedy that demands accountability, Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement Sunday.
“We are facing an epidemic of gun violence in America that has left Albuquerque families with wounds deeper than we can imagine,” he said. “Today, APD is apprehending more of these perpetrators than ever before. We must, at every level, work to fix our broken criminal justice system to break these cycles of violence and to keep offenders off our streets.”
The police department is on pace to arrest a record-number of people this year on homicide charges, Medina said. But that doesn’t make the families of the dead whole again, he added.
“There’s 100 families out there in 2022 that are grieving. And we need to make some changes,” he said.