Movie theater shooting leaves man dead over seating dispute

A man from New Mexico is facing a murder charge after he allegedly shot and killing another man during a dispute over seating at a movie theater in Albuquerque. According to the Albuquerque Police Department, Enrique Padilla, 19, shot and killed Michael Tenorio, 52, during a showing of the new comedy “No Hard Feelings” at the Cinemark Century Rio movie theater on Sunday evening.

The altercation began when Padilla and his girlfriend got into a confrontation with Tenorio and his wife over seats. Movie theater staff attempted to intervene, but the situation escalated when Padilla threw a bucket of popcorn at Tenorio and his wife. Tenorio then allegedly pushed Padilla towards a wall, and Padilla responded by firing several shots at Tenorio, who collapsed.

Tenorio’s wife reported seeing a green laser beam coming from what she believed was a handgun just before the shooting. An off-duty police officer who was at the theater attempted to perform life-saving measures on Tenorio, but he died at the scene. About 20 witnesses called the police about the shooting.

Padilla’s girlfriend also allegedly physically fought Tenorio’s wife before both Padilla and his girlfriend fled the scene. Padilla was later found hiding behind a bush outside of an emergency exit at the theater, wounded and asking a bystander to call 911 because he had been shot. It is unknown how Padilla was shot, and the investigation remains ongoing.

Homicide detectives later found what they believed to be the gun Padilla used in the shooting near where he had been allegedly hiding. Police said that eight bullet casings were found inside the theater, and that one matched the brand and caliber casing found in the bush where he had allegedly hidden. Police later discovered the gun was allegedly stolen, according to the criminal complaint.

Padilla is hospitalized and being held without bond, according to the police department’s Director of Communications Gilbert Gallegos and an arrest warrant filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court on Monday. The warrant shows he is also facing charges of shooting at an occupied building and tampering with evidence.

Tenorio’s wife and representatives for the movie theater could not immediately be reached for comment.