Police: Alleged affair sparked shooting

Manzano High School assistant principal critically injured in shooting

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque Public Schools employee is in critical condition after a shooting in northeast Albuquerque Thursday night.

Police say Thursday night around 9:00 p.m. they found 42-year-old James Chacho in his car near Montgomery and Eubank with multiple gunshot wounds to his neck and torso. Albuquerque Public Schools confirmed Chacho is currently the assistant principal at Manzano High School.

Last year, he was the principal at Hoover Middle School.

Later that night officers were dispatched to a second location at Faith Lutheran Church. There they found 46-year-old Craig Cuthbert dead.

An initial investigation shows that Cuthbert believed Chacho was having an affair with his wife, a wife KRQE News 13 has learned also works at APS. Police say earlier in the day Cuthbert confronted Chacho about the affair, then later text him to meet up and apologize.

Longtime friend of Cuthbert, John DellaLonga, said the Roadrunner Little League community is in shock.

“He worked with some of these kids for eight years,” he said. “Whenever we needed him here, he showed up.”

Friends and neighbors of Chacho, who declined to go on camera, told KRQE News 13, Chacho was a kind man. They said he was always with hi family, playing in the yard.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, Cuthbert shot Chacho then fled to the church and killed himself.

APS made a statement saying: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim Chacho’s family and all the families involved in this terrible tragedy.”

At this time Chacho remains in critical condition.

APS has crisis teams at multiple schools to help students and staff deal with this.

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