ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An armed robbery suspect is dead after at least one APD officer shot and killed him late Saturday night during an “altercation.”
Police say it all started Saturday when officers got a tip that the suspect in a recent string of armed robberies around town, 38-year-old Gilbert Zambronio-Lovato, was seen at the Motel 6 near the Big I.
Around 11 p.m., undercover detectives staking out the Motel 6 saw Zambronio-Lovato get into a car and leave the motel. That car, a black Nissan sedan, police say, is also tied to the string of robberies that were happening at a rate of about one per day since Dec. 16.
The detectives followed the car to the Village Inn restaurant near University and Menaul, where they saw Zambronio-Lovato go inside. He came out a short time later and left in the same car.
As detectives followed the car, they learned that the Village Inn had just been robbed. At that point, the car was near Carlisle and Comanche and a traffic stop was conducted.
In the driver’s seat was 35-year-old Audrey Hapke-Guzman with Zambronio-Lovato riding passenger.
“During the time that they contacted these individuals, there was an altercation that led to gunfire, officers did fire their weapons and…an investigation is pending further after that incident,” Officer Fred Duran, a department spokesman, said.
Police say a “deadly threat was presented and shots were fired,” but would not elaborate if Zambronio-Lovato was armed.
Zambronio-Lovato died at a hospital.
During the gunfire, Hapke-Guzman and the officers were not hurt.
Hapke-Guzman was taken to jail and faces 34 felony counts of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery — 17 each. These are related to the string of robberies she’s believed to have committed with Zambronio-Lovato since last month.
According to a criminal complaint, Hapke-Guzman admitted to driving Zambronio-Lovato to several robberies in the black Nissan sedan.
The places they hit, according to the documents, include several Starbucks, McDonald’s and KFC restaurants. They’re accused of even hitting a different Village Inn on Christmas Day. The case could also have a Federal interest because the pair is accused of robbing a Wells Fargo.
Hapke-Guzman is being held on no bond at MDC.
She has a small criminal record in New Mexico, while Zambronio-Lovato has faced a multitude of charges over the years.
Three undercover APD detectives are on standard paid administrative leave following this shooting. Their names have not been released. Until tests are conducted, police say they cannot confirm how many of those officers fired their weapons.
“Following the shooting, the multi-jurisdictional investigative team was called to the scene, which includes members of the District Attorney’s Office, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, New Mexico State Police and Rio Rancho Police Department,” APD said in a statement.