Albuquerque Police: No charges for Los Altos Skate Park shooter

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Police say they’ve identified the person who killed a teenager at a northeast skate park in March, however, that shooter is unlikely to face any charges.

Albuquerque Police released new information in the Los Altos Skate Park shooting on Friday, including more than a dozen screen shots from a cell phone video of the shooting.

17-year old Jaquise Lewis was killed in the shooting, however, police say it appears the man who killed him fired in self-defense. He likely won’t be facing charges, unless witnesses can prove otherwise.

One of the photos APD released Friday clearly shows Lewis holding a gun an pointing it at a group of people who are huddled behind a metal post.

APD released this still image Friday. The man dressed in a yellow shirt in the background of the image is said to be Jaquise Lewis, holding a gun and firing at a group of people crowded behind a pole.
APD released this still image Friday. The man dressed in a yellow shirt in the background of the image is said to be Jaquise Lewis, holding a gun and firing at a group of people crowded behind a pole.

“Here’s Jaquise Lewis again, after our second victim has been shot, with a gun in his hand, pointing it at a group of people who are behind this Los Altos pillar,” said Officer Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police department.

According to police, Lewis was shot right after he was seen firing a gun at the group by a man standing behind a black pillar, with arms extending out from behind the man wearing a red shirt.

APD says they’ve interviewed the shooter multiple times. The department says after multiple meetings with the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, they’ve determined that the man who killed Lewis was firing his gun in self-defense.

Los Altos Lewis Shooter
A man standing behind the view of the man in a red shirt is said to have shot and killed Jaquise Lewis. Only the shooter’s arms are visible. So far, APD is calling the shooting of Lewis self-defense.

For now, APD says the person who shot Lewis will not be charged.

“We’ve all come to the conclusion that at this point, Jaquise Lewis was shot in self defense. Could those circumstances change? Possibly, but we need information to make those circumstances change,” said Tixier.

APD says this whole incident started with a fist-fight between a group of skaters and a group of people hanging out at the park who were associated with Jaquise Lewis. Police say the skaters accused Lewis’ group of stealing a skateboard and that Lewis’ group refused to give the skateboard back.

Los Altos Fight That Started Shooting
APD says this still image shows the fight that eventually lead to the shooting at Los Altos Skate Park in late March.

“Young man went up and asked, ‘Can I get my skateboard back?’ and for whatever reason, why, don’t know, a fight ensues,” said Tixier.

Albuquerque Police say there were four shooters at the skate park and seven people who were shot, including Lewis. So far, APD says its identified two of the four shooters, Lewis and the man who shot Lewis. The other two shooters are outstanding. No weapons have been recovered from the incident.

While the skaters have cooperated, according to police, the group associated with Lewis has not. About 50 people were at the skate park the night of the shooting. APD says it has interviewed about 15 to 20 of them.

APD is now hoping that releasing screen shots of the video will get some of the witnesses to the shooting to come forward. The department believes that most of the outstanding witnesses are associated with Lewis’ group and can provide more information about what happened in between the fight and the shooting.

“We can’t tell what’s happening and we’re trying to fill in those gaps, so we need these people to come forward and say, well here is what happened here,” said Tixier.

APD says it knows there is more cell phone video on there as well that hasn’t been given over to investigators.

News 13 spokes to a few skaters at Los Altos Skate Park Friday who say there have been noticeably fewer people at the park since this shooting happened. APD also told News 13 today that they’re still concerned that there may be retaliation at the skate park.

Of the six people wounded in the shootout, one of them, a skater, was paralyzed. The rest weren’t seriously injured.

APD is encouraging anyone with information about the shooting to contact Detective T. Juarez at 505-924-6031.

Correction (12/16/2015): An earlier version of this story stated that: “According to police, Lewis was shot right after he was seen firing a gun at the group by a white man in a red shirt.” This was incorrect. While the initial photo released by APD appears to show an arm extending from a white man in a red shirt, the gunfire is actually coming from a man standing behind the large black pillar. On the day of the press conference, an APD spokesman only stated, “you have an individual who we know returning fire at Jaquise Lewis,” but did not offer a detailed explanation of exactly where the shooter was placed. News 13’s original reporting was based on the statement from APD and a look at the screen shot offered by police. As of December 2015, APD has released the full witness video which clearly shows who Lewis’ shooter is. News 13 has corrected copy to reflect the actual series of events: a man standing behind the large black pillar fired the shots that killed Jaquise Lewis.

 

Extended video clip of press conference:

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