Friend speaks out about Mary Hawkes’ life

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police have ignored KRQE News 13’s requests for updates Tuesday on Monday’s deadly police shooting, but the people who knew 19-year-old Mary Hawkes did talk to News 13 about her troubled life.

Her past was a troubled one.

Mary Hawkes had been in and out of the system at a very young age for charges ranging from criminal sexual contact of a minor to shoplifting and drinking in public.

“She grew up not having parents and in the foster care system,” Carolina Acuña-Olvera said.

Hawkes was adopted by former Valencia County judge Danny Hawkes, who took in troubled kids.

While doing time at the juvenile detention center, Hawkes would meet Carolina Acuña-Olvera, a music instructor.

Tuesday, Acuña-Olvera visited the sidewalk near Wyoming and Zuni, where the 19-year-old was shot and killed by APD.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Acuña-Olvera said. “You know, grief sets in and out.”

Police Chief Gorden Eden says she was a suspect in a car theft and pointed a gun at officers Monday morning.

“I can’t speak to whether she had a gun or not,” Acuña-Olvera said. “It’s not like her to have it but I also don’t know what she was doing the last 6 months.”

Up until those last six months, Acuña-Olvera did her best to help Hawkes once she got out of the juvenile lockup.

“My relationship with her was supporting her in any way possible,” Acuña-Olvera said. “I was the only one at her GED graduation.”

“She trusted me, she confided in me and she came to me. She helped me as much as I helped her,” Acuña-Olvera said.

But Acuña-Olvera admits Hawkes had trouble getting back on her feet.

“There’s this very small window to get it together.”

Once she was 18, Acuña-Olvera says Hawkes was typically living on the streets.

“I know that it’s very hard to live out here, like this on this concrete.”

News 13 started contacting APD at 9 a.m. Tuesday hoping to learn more about the shooting, what led up to it and how they know she was carrying a gun. They still haven’t gotten back to us.

Mario Romero was arrested Monday night after a candlelight vigil at the scene of Hawkes’ death.

He claimed to be Hawkes’ fiancé and police say he was emotional and pulled out a gun, saying he wanted to die in a confrontation with police, too.

Romero led them on a chase and was eventually arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and other charges. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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