Man at center of standoff, arson killer charged with unrelated homicide

Qiaunt Kelley, 27 (NMCD)

The man who was at the center of a SWAT confrontation that ended in a fatal house fire last week has been charged with murder in an unrelated case.

Albuquerque Police Department detectives have charged Qiaunt Kelley, 27, with an open count of murder and armed robbery in the June 25 death of 41-year-old Leonard Fresquez. We don’t know who his lawyer will be.

Police have spoken to multiple witnesses, some of them confidential, who linked Kelley — whom they knew as “Q” — in some way to the murder of Fresquez during a robbery that escalated into a shooting, as well as a non-fatal shooting two days earlier a block away.

Police were looking for Kelley as a person of interest in the homicide and other crimes when they tracked him and 15-year-old Brett Rosenau to a home in southeast Albuquerque on July 6. Kelley, who was also wanted for a parole violation, and the teenager ran inside the house and the SWAT team was called.

The SWAT team lobbed tear gas canisters and fired other chemical rounds into the house before the house caught fire, police said. Kelley surrendered, and Rosenau was found dead from smoke inhalation inside the house.

The incident sparked outrage in the community and the state attorney general’s office is conducting an independent review.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue is investigating the cause of the blaze – which police say may have been started by one of their SWAT devices – and the multi-agency task force is conducting a separate investigation into the actions of the forces. ‘order.

Filming of Fresquez began around 5:30 p.m. when a gunshot detection device reported shooting in the Grove and Trumbull SE area, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

Police responded as multiple 911 calls came in from a man lying on the ground in the area. They found Fresquez with at least three gunshot wounds and he died in hospital shortly thereafter.

A witness told police he heard gunshots and walked outside to see two men shooting at each other, according to the complaint. He said one of the men fell to the ground and the other continued to shoot him before fleeing.

Police said they found casings from two separate guns at the scene, but no weapon was found near Fresquez. One casing set matched a separate non-fatal shooting on June 23 a block away.

Police tracked down the man who took the gun and he told them after the shooting that he took the gun from the victim, “but didn’t take anything else,” according to the complaint. The man told police he took it ‘because it was a nice gun and he wanted to sell the gun’.

“(The man) said that several people took items from the victim and said I should know how things are in that part of town,” according to the complaint.

Police spoke to three separate people, all anonymous in the complaint for ‘fear of reprisal’, who linked a man they knew as ‘Q’ to either the Fresquez homicide or the previous shooting.

A person told police they saw a man who fit the description of “Q” shoot Fresquez and run away, according to the complaint. A second person told police they ran outside after the shooting and another man told them “Q” was robbing Fresquez while Fresquez was sitting in his SUV.

The man told the witness that “Q” shot Fresquez, the men got into a gunfight and Fresquez was hit.

Police said a third person told them he saw “Q” shoot and injure a man during a fight two days prior in Charleston and Grove SE. Police identified “Q” as a nickname for Kelley and the three confidential witnesses picked him out as “Q” in a photo.

A neighbor told police that “Q” entered his apartment the night of Fresquez’s homicide and began covering all the windows, hiding inside, according to the complaint. She said “Q” didn’t tell her what happened but heard “on the street” that he shot and killed a man in the street.

Police said the woman told them ‘Q’ was “bullying” her in her apartment, but she didn’t want him there. She identified “Q” as Kelley from a photo.

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