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APD arrests suspect for killing Good Samaritan who defended store clerk

Monday, Feb. 13, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD homicide detectives arrested a man today for Saturday’s fatal shooting of 24-year old Michael Urioste at the Circle K on Juan Tabo Blvd. and Lomas Blvd., N.E. Urioste was attempting to defend the store clerk at the time of the shooting.


According to witnesses, an adult male, later identified as Eric Ford, was causing a scene Saturday around 12:20 p.m. and punched the female clerk at the Circle K after she asked him several times to leave the property. Another customer, later identified as Urioste, intervened and wrestled Ford, 58, to the ground near a gas pump.


As the two men were on the ground, a woman exited a vehicle and started hitting Urioste with an object, described as a cane. At some point, another man intervened and attempted to separate the woman who was striking Urioste.


Ford eventually produced a firearm and shot Urioste. He fired additional rounds, striking a man who was putting gas in his vehicle. That victim was treated for non-life-threatening wounds.


Urioste was transported to the hospital, where he died as a result of his wounds.


Detectives obtained surveillance video, cell phone video and several witness descriptions of the suspect.


As detectives worked on their investigation, an officer in the Foothills Area Command conducted a traffic stop today shortly after 10 a.m. on the suspect vehicle with the same Utah license plate that was identified during Saturday’s shooting. The officer stopped the vehicle at the Four Hills Shopping Center, located at Central Ave. and Tramway Blvd., N.E. Ford and the female who was with him at the shooting, later identified as his wife, were detained for questioning. The vehicle was sealed and towed.


After questioning Ford and his wife, detectives executed a search warrant at a motel where the wife said they stayed after the shooting. Detectives recovered the firearm believed to be the gun used in the shooting. They also recovered clothing that matches the clothing the suspect was wearing when the shooting occurred.


Ford was arrested and charged with an open count of murder. He is being booked into the Metro Detention Center.