A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was fatally shot Monday in New Mexico when he attempted to break up a dispute between a woman and her 17-year-old son, KOAT reported.
>> Read more trending news
Jose Hernandez, 47, was trying to intervene when he was allegedly shot by the teenager, the television station reported. Hernandez was a 12-year veteran of the Postal Service, an Army veteran and a father of four, KOB reported.
The teen, Xavier Zamora, is charged with an open count of murder, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office, said Zamora will be tried in federal court because he is charged with killing a federal employee, the newspaper reported
According to Albuquerque police, Hernandez was working his route when he saw Zamora arguing with his mother outside their house. He tried to diffuse the dispute, but the boy's mother told police her son "became aggressive" with Hernandez after the postal worker attempted to use Mace, KOAT reported.
Zamora then allegedly went inside the house and returned with a weapon, fatally shooting Hernandez, the television station reported.
In a statement, the Postal Service offered its condolences to Hernandez’s family.
"We are saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the employee’s family," the statement said.
In a statement, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the shooting “has shaken our city.”
“We are grieving with the family of the victim, and with the entire postal service family,” Keller said. “While we are working to get answers to the many remaining unanswered questions, we know we must, and will continue to, fight against the gun violence that has taken a terrible toll on our community.”
Angel Martinez, who is president of the Albuquerque Association of Letter Carriers, said it was “a rough day for everybody.”
"We lost one of our good buddies who was well-respected throughout the city," Martinez told the Journal. "It's a loss for us. He was one of our super letter carriers. Very friendly, got along with everybody. His co-workers loved him; they still love him."
Zamora remains at large. He is 6 feet tall, has brown hair and brown eyes, and weighs 165 pounds, according to an arrest warrant.