DA’s Office: No charges to be filed in fatal car wash shooting

Earl Roybal
Earl Roybal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office has announced that no charges will be filed in the fatal shooting of a man at an Albuquerque car wash.

Motorcyclist and retired Army veteran Earl Roybal was shot and killed at the “Hose It” self-service car wash near Coors and Quail in March.

The man who shot Roybal told officers it was self-defense.

The investigation showed that Roybal, who had a gun holstered on his belt, punched James Morales in the face. That’s when Morales drew his own concealed handgun, and pointed it at Roybal.

When Roybal moved for his gun, Morales shot him three times.

Immediately after the killing, Roybal’s friends held a rally calling for murder charges against Morales.

The DA says his decision not to prosecute is based on the fact that Morales’ claim of self-defense would have made a conviction impossible.

In a statement, District Attorney Raul Torrez explained, “This decision in no way condones the shooting that occurred…This is a tragic death that should never have happened, but the State does not have a good faith belief that it could convict Mr. Morales given the available evidence.”

View the full statement from the District Attorney’s Office below, or click here.

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