Screenshot of cell phone video from Los Altos Skate Park on March 22.

Skate park shooter walks on own recognizance

Greg Buchanan, the man who fatally shot 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis last year at the Los Altos Skate Park, was released on his own recognizance following arraignment on felony drug trafficking charges. State District Court Judge Christian Argryes let Buchanan, 24, stay free, and she imposed no special conditions of release on him, said attorney Greg Payne, who is representing Lewis’ mother in a civil case and who was in court during the arraignment. Argryes said Buchanan has to refrain from excessive use of alcohol and can’t do drugs, but she refused to order him to not have guns, as the District Attorney’s office had requested. And Payne said that since Buchanan doesn’t have to report to authorities about his conditions of release, there is no mechanism for authorities to ensure that he meets the limited terms.

Buchanan was indicted on May 25 on charges of trafficking by possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, concealing his identity and resisting, evading or obstructing an officer. “This is a guy with a history of drug trafficking, gun violence; he is facing second-degree felony charges,” Payne said.

Screenshot of cell phone video from Los Altos Skate Park on March 22.

Death at a Skate Park: Putting together the pieces of a deadly night

Three days after a mass shooting at an Albuquerque skate park that took the life of one, paralyzed another and injured five more, Albuquerque Police Department Detective Tara Juarez sat in a room interviewing the man who, according to transcripts of police interviews, shot and killed 17-year-old Jaquise Lewis. An arrest warrant written for Gregory Buchanan sat in another room, according to statements made by another officer in a transcript from the interview. The interview marked Gregory Buchanan’s third with Juarez since the March 22, 2015 shooting. Until now, Buchanan insisted in police interviews that the gun he used on Lewis wasn’t his. Instead, he told Juarez that he picked it up from a friend who was shot in the chaos of the night. Buchanan said he fired the gun “at the assailants who were shooting at us,” killing Lewis in self defense.

A sign at Los Altos Skate Park.Photo Credit: Justice for Jaquise Lewis Facebook page

Two witnesses speak about ABQ mass shooting

The events of March 22, 2015 that culminated in the death of an Albuquerque teenager didn’t begin at Los Altos Skate Park. They began when a group of friends threw a barbecue for Jaquise Lewis three miles south of the skate park at Manzano Mesa Park, according to two witnesses who recently spoke to New Mexico Political Report about the shooting. While Albuquerque police say an investigation into Lewis’ death is ongoing and maintain that no one from his group is cooperating, both witnesses said police haven’t contacted them since the night of the shooting. © New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact editor@nmpoliticalreport.com for info on republishing.

Family of slain teen questions TV report of shooter

A man who claims he killed Jaquise Lewis in the March 22 Los Altos Skate Park shooting spoke anonymously to KOB-TV last week. The TV news segment featured the man’s silhouette and didn’t release his identity “because he has not been charged with a crime, and police have not finished their investigation.” The report described him as a 22-year-old father. In the report, the man said he carries a gun with him everywhere he goes. He used it that night, according to what he told KOB, when he saw an argument over a skateboard escalate into gunfire. The man said he saw 17-year-old Lewis shoot two people.

Albuquerque’s iconic downtown skyline looks drastic different from certain Westside vantage points marked by new development.Photo by Margaret Wright

Water, ‘systems thinking’ and Santolina’s tangled history

[box]© New Mexico Political Report, 2015. Contact editor@nmpoliticalreport.com for info on republishing.[/box]Deliberations are on hold until May over a proposal to transform a huge swath of desert southwest of Albuquerque into a booming planned community named Santolina. As the process lumbers forward, it’s helpful to contemplate a concept raised by one of the representatives for the controversial development. Jim Strozier, president of Consensus Planning, said last week during a special meeting of the Bernalillo County Commission that Santolina is the result of meticulous “systems thinking.” He was referring in part to his firm’s planning process, which he described as the merging of a range of considerations into a unified and ambitious vision: steady, multi-use development for the next 50 years on nearly 14,000 acres of what is today stark desert sloped against the Rio Grande Valley. Strozier said he and his team, hired by Santolina landowners, have looked at how “to prepare for and respond positively” to inevitable changes in population growth in the Albuquerque metro area.