Brother Mourns Vet, 24, Shot Dead At ATM: 'I Never Knew Anything Could Be This Painful'
The family of a young Army veteran is reeling after he was fatally shot while stopping at an ATM in New Mexico shortly after returning home.
Police found Tyler Lewis Lackey, 24, with a gunshot wound to the chest in Albuquerque around 10 p.m. Friday. Emergency responders rushed him to a nearby hospital, but he could not be saved.
Now his older brother, Scott Lackey, is imploring anyone who might know the person responsible for the killing to come forward.
"My brother is my best friend," Scott told INSIDE EDITION, saying his brother was "hilariously abrasive, and never had trouble making friends."
Scott said he began the journey home to Albuquerque from where he is stationed in Korea when he heard the devastating news.
"He is the kind of guy people just can't help but like," he said of his brother. "Even when he's stomping mud through your house or eating all the food in the pantry."
Tyler, who served five and a half years in the Army as a paratrooper medic, made his family and friends a priority, especially his nephew, Scott Lackey's son, and came home after being honorably discharged to be there for their mother, Scott said.
"He got out of the Army on November 6th, 2015 to come back to Albuquerque and help raise our little sister, to help our mom with her fabric store and to begin going to school to become a medical care provider," he told IE.
But on Friday, Tyler and a friend stopped at an ATM near his house after having dinner in Albuquerque, authorities and family said.
Police were called to the ATM shortly before 10 p.m. and in the parking lot, they found a man with at least one gunshot wound, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
A motive for the shooting has not been released, but witnesses reportedly told police there had been an altercation between two men before one was shot.
“(The caller) heard a loud noise and then one man fell to the ground,” Officer Darren DeAguero told the Journal.
A gun was reportedly found next to Lackey, but police did not say who it is believed to belong to.
Police released photos of a red-and-white vehicle, which they believe is connected to the shooting suspect, described as a slim Hispanic man with slight facial hair. He was last seen wearing a red and black running suit.
Investigators also released an image of a woman who was seen with the suspect that is wanted for questioning.
"Someone, please, I know you've seen this car," Scotty Lackey wrote on Facebook, sharing the photos that police had released.
"You probably laughed at it, called him a ricer, an idiot, something. Maybe you work with him. Whatever. He shot and killed my brother, and he's walking around free. The woman was seen with him. Please find this car, share this picture around until he is found."
Scott told IE that his brother will forever live on in his and his family's hearts, saying: "He's done so much for us. I never knew anything could be this painful. I love him."
Anyone who may have spotted the pair or with any information pertaining to the car or the woman pictured is asked to call 505-242-COPS.