Police say a New Mexico man is facing a murder charge after he killed another man amid a dispute over seats at an Albuquerque movie theater.
The suspect was identified as 19-year-old Enrique Padilla, who allegedly shot and killed 52-year-old Michael Tenorio around 9:00 p.m. Sunday at the Cinemark Century Rio theater in northeast Albuquerque during a performance of the new comedy “No Hard Feelings”.
Tenorio was with his wife and Padilla was with his girlfriend, according to an Albuquerque Police Department news release reviewed by NBC.
Cinema staff tried unsuccessfully to help resolve the dispute before it escalated, police said.
Before the shooting, the suspect allegedly threw a bucket of popcorn at Tenorio and his wife, causing the man to push Padilla into a wall. At that point, Padilla fired multiple shots at Tenorio, who collapsed, according to police.
An off-duty police officer who was in the theater attempted to perform life-saving measures on Tenorio, but he died on the spot.
Padilla's girlfriend also allegedly got into a physical fight with Tenorio's wife before they both fled the scene.
Later, Padilla was found hiding behind a bush outside an emergency exit at the theater. He said he was “he was wounded and asked a bystander to call 911 because he had been shot.”
It is unknown how Padilla was shot, as Tenorio's wife said he had no a weapon and no witnesses saw him with one, according to the criminal complaint.
Police provided assistance to Padilla at the scene and he was transported to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound.
Padilla is hospitalized and being held without bail, according to police department Communications Director Gilbert Gallegos. A warrant for his arrest was filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court on Monday.
The warrant shows he also faces charges of shooting into an occupied home or building and tampering with evidence.
Gallegos added that the investigation is ongoing.
Homicide detectives later found what they believed to be the gun Padilla used in the shooting near where he had allegedly been hiding.
Police said eight bullet casings were found inside the theater, and one matched the make and caliber of the casing found in the bush where the suspect was found.
The gun was stolen, according to the criminal complaint.