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What Happens When a Murder Happens in Albuquerque?




Albuquerque -

Several readers ask what is the procedure for when a violent crime occurs in ABQ. We are going to explain the process of what happens when a murder happens in ABQ.

Step 1:

A violent act happens that leads to witnesses and/or victim to call the police department.

Step 2:

911 call takers gather the information from the call(s) and create a computer aided dispatch (CAD) report of the information they have received from a caller or multiple callers. This CAD will be updated throughout the event detailing which units were on scene and any other information regarding the case. Each case will have a CAD number assigned to it.

Step 3: The call is dispatched via radio and or the CAD systems in the Officers patrol vehicle to the appropriate nearest or available Officers.

Step 4: Officers arrive on scene. They will first and foremost make sure the scene is safe then secure it. Then they begin to locate victim(s) and secure them. Firefighters will then be allowed into the scene to treat victim(s). Often times the rescue personnel will "scoop and run" with victim(s). Scoop and run is getting the person into an ambulance and rushed to UNMH for trauma care.

Step 5: Mobile Crime scene investigators are then requested by supervisors and respond to determine if the call will be a "full call out" incident.

The Mobile Crime Lab RVs show up to a homicide at a hotel to process a scene.

Step 6: If the scene is considered a violent crime which may result in death, or resulted in death a call to Violent Crimes supervisors are made to arrange for their personnel to respond. The OMI, and the large mobile RV looking violent crime scene van arrives shortly after with an on call driver. Officers and crime scene investigators begin interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. Search warrants are being drafted to enter residences and/or vehicles.


A CSI is seen taken photographs of a homicide scene in Albuquerque, N.M.

Step 7: Homicide detectives have briefings on the case inside the mobile violent crime scene van. The assistant district attorney on-call is called to the scene to be briefed on potential charges and warrants needed to be filed to the courts.

Step 8: The case is investigated and leads are followed up. It can take minutes to months for a suspect(s) to be taken into custody and be charged with the homicide.


A murder suspect is taken into custody after coming back to a homicide scene to turn himself in.

Step 9: Office of Medical Investigator performs an autopsy and determines the cause of death and rules it a homicide. OMI is the official record of how a person's cause of death.

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