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APD charges man in fatal road rage shooting

Friday, Feb. 17, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD Homicide detectives arrested and charged Salvador Cervantes for the Jan. 20, 2023, shooting death of Christopher Hernandez during a road rage incident.


Cervantes, 25, told detectives he noticed another vehicle driving aggressively along Tramway Blvd. N.E., and he would not let the vehicle into his lane. He claims the occupants flashed a firearm and taunted him. He said he turned off Tramway and the vehicle began following him.


Cervantes, who was driving a white Toyota SUV, said he turned into the parking lot of the School of Excellence, located at 13201 Lomas Blvd., N.E. The other vehicle, a silver Ford Focus, followed him to the parking lot, and as he tried to back out, the occupants exited the vehicle. One of the occupants had a firearm.


As Cervantes attempted to drive out of the parking lot, he fired his own gun. He claims he tried to fire it into the air to scare the individuals. But one bullet struck Hernandez who was one of the occupants of the Ford Focus. The occupant of the Ford Focus drove Hernandez to the hospital and dropped him off. Hernandez died at the hospital as a result of the gunshot wound.


Through investigation, detectives identified Cervantes as the driver of the white Toyota SUV. He was involved in a separate hit-and-run crash a week after the homicide.


Detectives detained Cervantes on Thursday and questioned him about the shooting. Cervantes claimed he acted in self-defense when he fired his gun because he feared for his life. But he also told detectives he could have continued to drive away from the car that was pursuing him.


Detectives consulted with the District Attorney’s Office and charged Cervantes with 2nd Degree Murder, or in the alternative, shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in death. He was also charged with tampering with evidence. Cervantes was booked overnight into the Metro Detention Center.