Wednesday, November 29, 2023



Two dead after shooting in New Mexico KOA

A shooting at a New Mexico KOA campground has left two people dead, including a launch director of the Albuquerque balloon festival, reports KOB in Albuquerque.

New Mexico State Police investigators are working to find out more about the circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting that unfolded at the Albuquerque North Bernalillo KOA Campground Monday evening that left two men dead.

One of those men, Mike La Plante, was a longtime launch director at the Balloon Fiesta, according to event officials.

According to NMSP officials, officers with the Bernalillo Police Department responded to the KOA campground off South Hill Road after receiving calls of a shooting inside a trailer. When they arrived, 70-year-old Fernand Lete emerged, armed with a revolver, at which point a BPD officer fired an unknown number of shots.

It’s unknown if Lete was struck by that gunfire, but he then barricaded himself in the trailer. NMSP units who were later called in to assist were able to utilize some kind of equipment “to view the inside of the camp trailer and observed what appeared to be two deceased male subjects inside.”

When authorities entered, they found that Lete, who later died, was suffering from gunshot wounds. The body of Michael LaPlante, 55, was also discovered with gunshot wounds.

Another camper in town to visit family, Scott Snyder, told KOB he heard multiple flash bangs throughout the evening as authorities worked to get Lete to come out of his trailer.

A revolver was reportedly found near Lete’s body, NMSP says. It’s unclear in the early going if Lete’s wounds were self-inflicted or from the BPD officer.



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