NM Cops Say a 21-year-old Shoots His Stepmother as She Goes to Hug Him at Graduation

NM Cops Say a 21-year-old Shoots His Stepmother as She Goes to Hug Him at Graduation

New Mexico cops say a 21-year-old opened fire on his stepmother as she went in to hug him at his graduation from charter school.

Police in Albuquerque said in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that Cristian Bencomo was arrested on May 8 for killing his stepmother and was taken to jail.

Gilbert Gallegos, the department’s communications director, said in a video shared on X (formerly Twitter) that officers were called to the Albuquerque Convention Centre just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday because of reports of gunfire.

Gallegos said that at first, officers thought they were reacting to a report of an active shooter, but later learned that only one gunshot had been fired.

Bencomo’s stepmother “started to hug him,” so he pulled out a gun and “shot her in the neck,” according to the police report.

A witness, Mary Ward, told KOB 4 Eyewitness News, “We made it all the way through graduation. It was really lovely until it wasn’t.”

The kids were told to give a rose to someone in the crowd, Ward told the news source.

According to the news source, Ward said, “I was watching my student come up to my right. Then I looked to the left and saw a crowd of people, and then I heard a big pop.”

There were more than 100 people at the graduation from the private school, and Gallegos said, “There was a lot of… chaos at the time.”

Still, police said that “bystanders held (Bencomo) until officers arrived.”

Gallegos says the woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The organisers of a GoFundMe said she had “hours of surgery” and will need to continue getting medical care and rehab.

KRQE News said that the woman’s sister Angel Chester was nearby when the killing happened. Chester told the station that after the killing, she saw Bencomo hit her sister on the head with his shoe.

“I keep telling myself it’s just a bad dream,” Chester told the news source.

Online jail records show that Bencomo is being charged with multiple crimes, such as aggravated attack and aggravated battery. He is being held without bail.

KOAT-TV reports that police are still looking into the killing.

Gallegos told the news source, “I think there were a lot of photos, videos, or witnesses. Anyone who doesn’t want to talk to detectives here at the scene is asked to call APD 242-COPS or 505-242-COPS.”

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