ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — Two fugitives are on the run after fatally shooting an Army Vet who attempted to detain them after one of them held him at gunpoint at a Wells Fargo ATM. Both Matthew Chavez, 25, and Veronica Trimble, 22, are wanted in connection to the shooting death and attempted robbery of the victim.
According to the victim’s friend, who tried to back him up armed with only a knife, the victim attempted to do the honorable thing and hold the two robbers at gunpoint until police arrived. However, when the robber retreated to his car, the victim followed — and that’s precisely how he got shot and killed. His alleged murderer, Matthew Chavez, escaped in a car that was missing its license plate. It was later identified by police after he attempted to light it on fire to destroy evidence.
In the meantime, the friend of the victim recalled those final moments try to comfort him in his final moments laying on the deck of the parking lot.
“He fell to the ground,” Lackey’s friend said. “He said, ‘I’m hit.’ I had my hands under his head to keep him from choking on his blood. Then other people, other witnesses, came up and started helping out.”
It was actually surveillance video and confidential tips from the community that pointed law enforcement to the identities of the two suspects involved with this case.
“The case is still being investigated hard on a daily basis,” said officer Simon Drobik, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department. “Obviously, he’s not in custody and she’s not in custody, but it’s not for a lack of trying.”
The victim had just gotten out of the Army and returned home to Albuquerque. He served a tour in Afghanistan as an airborne medic with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg. This is a tragedy on so many levels.
It’s also a learning lesson.
If you’re ever in the situation where you have the upper hand on an armed robber, don’t mess around. Either let him retreat or use deadly force. Do not wait in the middle unless he absolutely complies with your request to stay put until police arrive. Even then, there’s so much this former Army Vet was trying to do right — but underestimating the viciousness of your enemy is the biggest sin in combat. It hurts to see a brother get taken out by trash. Hopefully, we can learn something from this and apply it to our own responsible concealed carry practices.