Thursday, November 30, 2006

Residents Called Sheriff About Shots

Thursday, November 30, 2006
By Carolyn Carlson
Journal Staff Writer

Residents living in the area where Jerome J. Hall was found shot on Thanksgiving called the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department at least four separate times that afternoon and evening to report gunshots being fired.
Six days before Hall died, a federal jury had awarded him $307,000 in an excessive force case against three Albuquerque Police Department officers.
Lt. Gregg Marcantel, lead homicide detective for the sheriff's department, said the calls started about 4:30 p.m. with the last one coming in about 9:30 p.m., shortly before deputies found Hall, 42, suffering from gunshot wounds. He died on the way to a hospital.
"The shots-fired calls ceased with that event," Marcantel said Wednesday during a news conference.
He said when deputies went out on the calls they did not find anyone shooting guns or any evidence that shots had been fired, until they found Hall.
"We are appealing to the public for any knowledge of who may have been doing the shooting," Marcantel said.
He said the shooters may have been in a car.
"It sounds like it did involve autos and the discharging of guns," Marcantel said. "It is unclear if the shots were into the air."
He would like to talk to anyone along Fourth Street, from Guadalupe Trail to Paseo del Norte, who heard gunshots or saw someone possibly in a car shooting a gun during those five hours.
"The Los Ranchos area does not get frequent shots-fired calls," Marcantel said.
He said detectives have not found any locations where bullets may have hit.
"Someone may have heard or seen something at 5 p.m. and not connect it to the 9:30 p.m. shooting," Marcantel said. "They may not be connected but we still want to know what, if anything, the public saw or heard."
Marcantel did not release any other information other than Hall's autopsy confirmed he died of gunshots.
He said they were keeping any pertinent information "within the notepads of the detectives and close to our chests."
He said he did not want to undermine the detectives working the case. Detectives are looking in a number of directions, he said.
Marcantel said newspaper coverage of the award might have suggested to someone Hall possessed lots of money, even though he had none of it yet because of the lengthy legal process.
According to court documents in Hall's excessive force case, the officers said Hall was acting suspiciously as he looked into Nob Hill business windows in 2002.
The officers said Hall was combative and that that is why they used a Taser on him. Hall lost part of an ear because he was so severely burned by the Taser.
In a Journal interview after the verdict, Hall said he did not want anyone to know where he was living because he was afraid of retaliation.
Anyone with any information should call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP. If they want to talk directly with a detective they can call 980-2496. Either way, Marcantel said, they can remain anonymous.

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