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APD charges suspect in Saturday homicide

Monday, April 17, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – APD homicide detectives charged Isaich Lujan for fatally shooting a man who sent an “inappropriate” text message to a woman he was dating. The victim, Nathan Barela, died at the scene as a result of a single gunshot wound.


Officers responded Saturday, April 15, 2023, around 11:40 am to a report of an individual who was unresponsive, and possibly shot, inside a vehicle at the Comanche Wells Apartments, located at 3400 Comanche Rd., N.E. Officers located the victim who was deceased. Rescue personnel later confirmed Barela had been shot.


Officers and detectives learned from Lujan’s girlfriend that she received an “inappropriate” picture from Barela, someone she previously knew. The picture was texted early Saturday around 3 a.m., while she was with Lujan. Lujan used her phone to send text messages back to Barela, who indicated he was on his way to the apartment complex.


The woman met with the Barela and got into his vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex. After a few minutes, Lujan approached the vehicle from the passenger’s side reached through the half-open window, and fired a handgun, striking Barela who was in the driver’s seat.


Detectives recovered a bullet casing that matches the caliber of firearm the woman said Lujan used.


Police are actively searching for Lujan, who is charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence.


Anyone with information about Lujan’s whereabouts are urged to call APD at 505-242-COPS (2677).