ALBUQUERQUE, NM – An apartment complex in northeast Albuquerque is at the center of the city’s 71st homicide this year.
Police and resort management said Monday afternoon’s incident began with a fight involving several people. They also say they have arrested and charged the man they believe responsible.
It happened around 4 p.m. Monday. Witnesses told police that Michael Anthony Koester, 25, and his girlfriend found several teenagers in his apartment – some wearing no clothes.
Koester allegedly confronted one of the teenagers, then picked him up and took him outside.
Police said the teenager then called his family for help and told them to bring firearms.
“Northeast Region Command officers responded to the scene and separated a large group of injured people who were fighting in the apartment complex,” said Lt. Ray Del Greco of the Violent Crimes Unit of ODA.
Koester’s girlfriend also allegedly seized a handgun from her apartment.
“During this fight, officers learned that a man had been shot and fled the scene in a vehicle,” Del Greco said.
Police said phone video shows Koester pointing a gun at the teenager’s father, Raul Gallegos, 44, as Gallegos backed up to his car. That’s when officials believe Koester shot Gallegos three times.
Gallegos managed to escape. Officers say they found him near Montgomery and Monroe. They then took him to the hospital, where he later died.
Koester remains in custody and is charged with second degree murder.
This is the APD’s second investigation into a homicide at the Courtyard Apartments in the past year.
KOB 4 spoke with some people who live in the Courtyard apartments. While some say they fear for their safety, others say crime has actually improved since new management took over about a month ago.
“Other than you know those few incidents with the shootings, I mean for the most part I feel safe in this complex, I definitely feel safer there than most other parts of the city,” said Kris Scott, Resident of Courtyard Apartments.
KOB 4 received a statement Fof the Courtyard management company, MEB, which says in part:
“Police have secured the area and all residents are safe. A suspect is in custody and an active investigation is currently underway. We are currently working with the authorities on the next steps.
They said out of respect for those involved, they would not share any further information.