New Mexico man shoots stepmom as she tried to give him hug during graduation ceremony: police

A New Mexico man shot his stepmother Wednesday as she was attempting to give him a hug during a high school graduation ceremony, authorities said. 

The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) said it received a call around 5 p.m. about shots fired at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Authorities said the woman was attending the Southwest Secondary Learning Center graduation for her son. Her stepson, Christian Bencomo, 21, arrived and “as she started to hug him, he produced a handgun and shot her in the neck,” police said. 

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“As you can imagine, there was a lot of chaos at the time,” APD Communications Director Gilbert Gallegos told the media at the scene. 

He said there were over 100 people at the charter school graduation ceremony at the time. The woman was rushed to a hospital and is expected to survive. Bencomo was held by bystanders until the police arrived, the APD said. 

Jennifer Renfro, who was at the ceremony, told FOX Television Stations that the graduates had just received their diplomas, along with a rose to give to their “important person.” She said she gave her son a hug, and then “heard a really loud pop.”

“A lot of people thought it was a firecracker or a balloon. We all crouched down,” she told the news outlet, adding that her daughter hid on the ground.

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Bencomo is charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon, aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony, aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm to a family member and preventative detention, according to jail records at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center.

He is being held with no bail.