ABQ gas station employee shoots alleged shoplifter as he drives away

·2 min read

May 31—Authorities say a West Side gas station employee took matters into his own hands earlier this month, shooting and wounding an alleged shoplifter as he drove away from the convenience store.

Andres Orona, 27, is charged with aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm, shooting at or from a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence in the incident that happened May 10.

The alleged shoplifter, a 30-year-old man, was shot in the face and crashed his truck a few miles away, according to police. He also suffered a stroke but is expected to survive.

Orona was working at the Speedway near Montaño and Coors at the time of the shooting. An employee at the business declined to comment Saturday.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Albuquerque police responded around 5:20 a.m. to a single-vehicle crash at Montaño and 12th NW and found the driver shot in the face. Officers discovered a bullet hole in the back bumper of the truck and that the back window had been shot out.

The driver initially had a "low probability" of surviving as the Gun Violence Reduction Unit began its investigation. There were few witnesses to the actual crash and police could not find any clear surveillance footage of the incident.

The driver's sister contacted police to tell them her brother, who had a stroke and was unable to speak, told her it started with a dispute at the Speedway. She said her bother told her — through writing and nodding — the employee had shot him as he left the gas station.

Police said security video at the Speedway showed the driver shoplift from the store and Orona going outside to confront him. The video showed Orona grab something from near the register, put it in his waistband and walk back outside.

Police said the video showed Orona raise his arms toward the truck with a black object in his hand and his arms jerk slightly.

"It appears that (Orona) is shooting a firearm," the detective wrote in the complaint.

Police said as the truck drives away Orona bent down to pick up several items off the ground, items believed to be bullet casings.