ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Students at the University of New Mexico are on high alert Thursday as police investigate a student’s murder near campus.
“It is pretty unsettling, honestly,” said UNM Junior Lindsey Nelson.
Nelson lives close to campus. She takes Stanford to school every morning, but Nelson had no idea her route took her past the same spot where a student was shot and killed on Tuesday.
“It is upsetting to have that happen so close to where I walk every day,” said Nelson.
Albuquerque police said it happened early Tuesday morning at Stanford and Central. They received a call at around 3 a.m. and responded to find one man dead on the sidewalk. Police said an autopsy reveals Juan Romero was murdered, killed from a gunshot wound.
“I have some late night classes, so it’s pretty concerning,” said Danny Lieva.
Lieva found out from a friend who lives on Stanford. The university didn’t put out a campus-wide alert.
“That wasn’t reported to the university,” said UNM Emergency Manager Byron Piatt.
Yet, officials did send out a Lobo Alert for another incident that happened less than eight hours later. A student reported someone pulled a gun on him on campus, near Central and Yale.
“When a student makes a report to the university, we relay that information if it meets a certain set of criteria,” said Piatt.
Criteria like the type of crime — an assault or robbery are two examples. It also has to happen on campus and pose a continued threat to students.
But, not all students are surprised this horrible crime happened so close to campus.
“I feel like given the fact that our school is on Central, I mean that’s like one of the sketchiest streets that we have,” said Dean Estrada, a freshman at UNM.
Other students also said that unfortunately, they are not shocked, and said crime is an everyday occurrence near school.
“Being held up, things getting stolen, like bikes getting cut from locks, is a pretty frequent occurrence around here honestly,” said Estevan Hernandez.
He also said he makes sure he’s prepared to handle certain situations.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesperson Fred Duran said UNM handles crimes on campus and they handle crime surrounding it, but APD will assist campus police if they need them to.
Officials said that since the shooting, officers are patrolling the area more often. However, police said they already have a lot of patrols in the area.
UNM said it is reaching out to Romero’s family to offer support. Officials add they have a number of resources and tools available for their students, like the Lobo Guardian, which allows students to connect directly with UNM Police.
Detectives are urging anyone with information about Romero’s death to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP.