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APD arrests man for stabbing death at homeless encampment

Homicide Arrest
December 14, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD detectives arrested Zachariah Riley for Wednesday’s stabbing death of a man during a dispute at a homeless encampment south of Downtown.

According to witnesses, two men confronted Riley, 39, who was inside a tent in the area of 2nd St. and Arvada Ave., N.W., over a dispute involving a phone. A woman told the men Riley took her phone and attempted to choke her earlier in the day.

When the men confronted Riley at the tent, which was initially closed, Riley exited the tent armed with a knife. They argued and Riley chased one of the men. The victim stumbled and fell, and Riley stood over the victim and stabbed him three to four times in the back.

Detectives located surveillance video from a nearby business that matched the witness descriptions of the incident.

While homicide detectives were investigating the scene, a witnesses told them Riley was seen nearby. Officers detained Riley and he was questioned by detectives.

Riley said he stabbed the victim in self-defense, but later admitted he was not telling the truth about the incident when he told detectives the victim entered the tent and attacked him.

Riley was booked overnight into the Metro Detention Center on open count of murder.