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Albuquerque police are investigating a homicide at 475 Coors NW. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Police have released photos of the suspect in the homicide of a woman found dead late Tuesday night at a massage spa business. (ODA)

For the second time in about three weeks, a woman has been shot and killed at an Albuquerque massage business in an apparent armed robbery, stoking fears among members of the Asian community.

Albuquerque police found the victim, a Chinese woman, at a West Side massage spa late Tuesday night after responding to an armed robbery at the business.

Security camera video of the incident – time stamped as 8.30pm – was shared on a messaging app on Wednesday morning. It showed a motionless woman lying in a doorway as a man with a gun in his belt walked through an office.

Officer Chase Jewell, a spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department, said officers responded around 11 p.m. to “delayed reports of a possible robbery” at the Canna Spa Massage near Coors and Los Volcanes NW .

Another APD spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, said in an update that a woman’s body was found inside the company.

“Homicide detectives conduct interviews,” he said. Gallegos did not identify the woman but said she was of Chinese descent and had been shot.

Gallegos released photos of the suspect and his black truck from security footage and asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers or 911.

The incident comes just over three weeks after Sihui Fang, a 45-year-old massage spa owner, died in a shootout with suspected armed robbers at her northeast Albuquerque business. Two young men, one of whom was shot and wounded, have been charged with his death.

At the time, business owners and employees of massage businesses told the Journal they were concerned because there had been a string of robberies at such businesses in Albuquerque and Santa Fe in recent months.

Police have released photos from the truck of the suspect in the homicide of a woman found dead late Tuesday night at a massage spa business. (ODA)

Chearie Alipat, coordinator to end gender-based violence at the Asian Family Center of New Mexico, said Wednesday that the community is “always processing what’s going on.”

“It’s a tragedy and our community is suffering, and we mourn with them,” Alipat said.

Also on Wednesday, local advocates emailed those who run commercial real estate associations, asking for increased security for any Asian businesses they rent to.

Kristelle Siarza, volunteer executive director of the Asian Business Collaborative, said she was asking owners to be vigilant over the next 24 to 48 hours.

“There’s something going on and we don’t know what’s going on, but it’s terrifying,” she said. “We’re really worried that the culprit is still out there and is targeting a business tonight or tomorrow.”

Siarza said a significant number of thefts have been reported to them by Asian-owned businesses in recent months. Some owners were discouraged after authorities told them that certain thefts, of a wallet or phone, were “too petty a crime” to prosecute.

Siarza said the APD has been more responsive lately, but concerns about immigration status and inadequate licensing have also prevented some companies from reporting.

“These chains of petty thefts are becoming such a big gateway to where we are now, we’re trying to sound the alarm to say, ‘Something’s going on and we don’t know what it is,'” a she declared.

“…At this point, it’s a matter of safety and security for everyone, not just Asian-owned businesses, but also those who share a wall with them.”

On Wednesday, a graphic video of the latest incident was shared by Asian business owners on WeChat, a popular messaging app among Asian communities.

The video, time stamped nearly three hours before police arrived, shows a woman lying motionless in a doorway in the hallway of the company. A tall man wearing a black baseball cap, a spat over his face and a sleeve covering his arm tattoos, rummages in a nearby office.

The man is holding a safe or some briefcase as he gathers things around the room. A large handgun is visible sticking out of his belt. Throughout the video, the woman is still lying in the background.

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