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New Mexico News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT

Police identify man suspected of shooting 3 in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man suspected of shooting three people in the same northeast Albuquerque neighborhood where he lived before he was shot and killed by police officers. They say 52-year-old John Dawson Hunter is believed to have fatally shot 31-year-old Alicia Hall as she was driving her vehicle Monday afternoon in the Foothills area. Police say Hunter also is suspected of shooting and wounding a man and a female teenager. Both victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police say Hunter was later killed after an altercation with officers. Investigators believe Hunter was suffering some sort of mental crisis when he started shooting randomly at people in the area of his home.

Watchdog has concerns with projects at US nuclear repository

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There's no way of knowing if cost increases and missed construction deadlines will continue at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository. That's according to a report made public Tuesday by Government Accountability Office. The reports says the U.S. Energy Department is not required to develop a corrective action plan for addressing the root causes of challenges at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico. A multimillion-dollar project is underway at the underground facility to build a new ventilation system so full operations can resume. The Energy Department had blamed significant cost overruns and delays on the contractor's inexperience and difficulties in attracting workers.

'Little Miss Nobody' identified over 60 years later with DNA

PHOENIX (AP) — "Little Miss Nobody" finally has a name. The Yavapai County Sheriff's office said Tuesday a little girl whose burned remains were found more than 60 years ago in a remote area of Arizona was 4-year-old Sharon Lee Gallegos of New Mexico. Her partially buried remains were located in a desert wash July 31, 1960. The Prescott community in central-north Arizona paid for a funeral. The sheriff's office and a Texas DNA company recently raised $4,000 for specialized testing to finally identify her. Authorities say they do not know who took and killed the child, and the case is still under investigation.

Albuquerque police: Suspect killed after shooting 3 people

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say Albuquerque police officers shot and killed a suspect after responding to reports of a shooting on the city's northeast side. Police Chief Harold Medina said Monday that two people were injured and a woman was found dead on the street in a residential area. Two officers also were hurt while exchanging gunfire with the suspect, but Medina says their injuries were not life-threatening. Authorities had cordoned off a neighborhood as they warned residents to stay indoors while officers searched the area. Medina says investigators were working to piece together what led to the violence and whether the suspect knew the victims.

VA proposal to close rural health clinics spurs opposition

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has released a list of community-based clinics that it proposes to close in New Mexico, New Hampshire and other rural areas around the country. Some members of Congress vowed immediate opposition Monday, saying the clinics provide the only access to care for thousands of veterans. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said the analysis done by the VA has many flaws, including that it is based on data collected before the coronavirus pandemic put a strain on health care systems in New Mexico and elsewhere. It will be up to a special commission to consider the VA's proposal as part of a process that will take several years.

Election audit prompts pushback from New Mexico auditor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state auditor is the latest top Democratic official to push back against an independent audit of the 2020 election in one rural New Mexico county. State Auditor Brian Colón's office sent a letter Monday to Otero County commissioners saying the county is deficient in its ability to properly oversee contract compliance. He pointed to a recent contract signed with the private company the county hired to review election records. The letter also says the audit isn't in residents' best interest and amounts to political grandstanding. County Commissioner Couy Griffin says there's no harm in following through with the audit if the state has nothing to hide.

Suspect who wielded gun outside Santa Fe cafe still at large

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man who pulled out a gun at a Santa Fe restaurant when he was denied a free cup of coffee. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the shooting happened Saturday at Cafe Pasqual's while customers were present. According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, the suspect was charged for coffee that he was used to getting free. Restaurant staff said he left but returned. He then climbed on top of furniture outside the cafe and showed the gun. Employees and customers hid in the kitchen. When deputies arrived, both the suspect and customers had fled. Authorities are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Teen cadet at New Mexico Military Institute reported missing

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a cadet at the New Mexico Military Institute is missing. New Mexico State Police say 15-year-old Peyton Brynn Scarff of Roswell was last seen on campus around 3 p.m. Wednesday and was in her uniform. Police with the Military Institute are asking the public for information to help find Scarff. Authorities say it's still unclear if the teen is a runaway from the public military school that is a four-year high school and two-year junior college.