Deadly movie theater shooting sparked by argument over seating

A dispute over seating at a movie theater in Albuquerque took a tragic turn on Sunday evening when it escalated into a shooting, leaving one man dead and causing panic among the terrified audience. The Albuquerque Police Department has filed charges against a 19-year-old suspect, Enrique Padilla, in connection with the incident.

The shooting occurred at the Century Rio theater, located next to an interstate, during a screening of the film “No Hard Feelings.” Padilla, who sustained a gunshot wound, is currently under guard at a hospital. The motive behind the shooting remains unclear.

According to witnesses, Padilla arrived at the theater with his girlfriend and discovered another couple occupying their reserved seats. Theater staff attempted to mediate the situation, but tensions escalated quickly. The dispute escalated from a heated exchange to physical altercations, including the throwing of a bucket of popcorn, shoving, and eventually gunfire. Tragically, 52-year-old Michael Tenorio was shot and killed at the scene. His wife, Trina Tenorio, confirmed that he was unarmed.

Following the shooting, the shooter fled the theater, while Padilla was discovered hiding behind a bush near an emergency exit. Police found a gun outside the theater that matched the spent casings from the shooting. Padilla, who sustained an abdominal wound, is currently receiving medical treatment under police guard. The Albuquerque Police Department has filed a criminal complaint and arrest warrant against Padilla, charging him with open counts of homicide, shooting at an occupied building, and tampering with evidence.

Witnesses reported that Padilla’s girlfriend engaged in a physical altercation with Tenorio’s wife before fleeing the scene. An off-duty police officer happened to be present at the movie, and he administered emergency aid to Tenorio. The officer witnessed the confrontation but did not see a weapon due to the darkness in the theater. The officer reported hearing a rapid succession of gunshots before one of the individuals involved in the dispute ran out.

Albuquerque police have urged anyone who captured video footage of the incident to submit it to the department’s evidence portal. The company that owns the theater has not yet responded to requests for comment on the tragic incident. This shooting brings to mind a similar high-profile case in Florida last year, where a retired police SWAT commander was acquitted of murder after fatally shooting another moviegoer during an argument over cellphone use.