Tucumcari man shot to death

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A martial arts fighter was shot to death on a Tucumcari sidewalk Thursday night, police said.

Albert Jason Pacheco Jr., 31, of Tucumcari, was shot near a gym where fighters were weighing in for Friday’s Desert Extreme Blood War cage fight.

One man is being held in “investigative detention” in connection with the shooting, Tucumcari Police Chief Larry Ham said.

“Two to three shots were fired” during the incident, Ham said.

The shooting occurred at Main and Second Street, near where fighters were being weighed in for Friday’s martial arts event at the Tucumcari Convention Center, police said.

“He’d (Pacheco) been on a previous card,” meaning he had fought in previous events, said Ron Haley, Tucumcari’s deputy police chief.

It was not immediately clear if the shooting was related to the planned mixed martial arts events, promoted as the Desert Extreme Blood War. The fights are held in a steel cage and end via knockout, submission hold or when a referee determines a fighter is no longer able to defend himself.

The man being detained in connection with the shooting is cooperating with police and did not resist police, Haley said.

Police were alerted to the shooting at 7:43 p.m. Thursday and a citizen took Pacheco to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, Haley said.

Emergency room personnel worked for more than an hour to save Pacheco, said Officer Darrick Shaw.

Police did not identify the person who drove Pacheco to the hospital.

A gun is in police possession but authorities would not release any details about the gun because the shooting is still under investigation.

Pacheco’s body will be taken to the Office of Medical Investigation in Albuquerque for an autopsy, which is a routine procedure, police said.