Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Municipal Judge Diane Albert, 65, was shot in her home Friday afternoon, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Twitter.
Her husband Eric Pinkerton, 63, is believed to have shot his wife and several animals in the house before shooting himself, according to officials.
“This is believed to be a Murder-suicide. A friend of the decedents contacted deputies after receiving a troubling message from Eric Pinkerton,” police said. “Upon arrival deputies located the decedents inside the residence along with several dead animals.”
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jayme Fuller said that a friend of the couple had contacted the sheriff’s office sometime before 4 p.m. on Friday after receiving a message in which Pinkerton stated that he had shot his wife and dogs and was going to kill himself.
Albert was elected municipal judge of the village of Los Ranchos, which borders Albuquerque, in 2021, and previously served as a planning and zoning commissioner for the North Valley community.
She also had served as a Los Alamos County commissioner and president of the Bike Coalition of New Mexico, and was a practicing patent attorney, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
‘Accomplished and Beloved Individual’
Prior to that, she worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 10 years, and taught at University of New Mexico-Los Alamos for two years, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Tributes poured in for Albert over the weekend, with the Lt. Gov. of New Mexico, Howie Morales, penning an emotional statement on Twitter explaining his shock over the “senseless shooting death” of an “accomplished and beloved individual.”
“This terrible tragedy is a stark reminder of how much more we have to do to end the scourge of domestic violence in New Mexico,” Morales said.
Elsewhere, New Mexico state auditor Brian Colón wrote on Facebook that he was lost for words when it came to honoring his “dear friend, the good doctor, public advocate, and servant.”
“I am simply speechless. So many thoughts, but so few words. I turned down the station that wanted me to go to camera to speak about Diane. Just couldn’t do it. Diane always entered our home with a smile and usually wearing her bicycle helmet. What a loss. Rest in peace and know you spread goodness near and far,” Colón wrote.
Albert’s death marked the third fatal domestic incident in the Albuquerque area within the first 48 hours of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
On Thursday, a man reportedly suffering from dementia was accused of killing and dismembering his wife, and on Friday, police shot and killed a knife-wielding man after they were called to deal with a domestic dispute.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.