The man who police say killed himself with a homemade bomb behind a West Central shopping center last week was a veteran who had been living in and around Albuquerque for at least the past couple of years, according to court documents.
Gregory Shewmake, 32, had a couple of prior arrests for drug possession and property crimes, and court documents indicate he had been told to seek treatment for substance abuse. He had not been charged with any violent crimes in New Mexico, online court documents show.
His wife declined an interview with the Journal and other family members could not be reached.
It was unclear when and where Shewmake served in the military, but court records show he was ordered to be admitted into a residential treatment program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for substance abuse.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Sandoval County, his wife told police he was addicted to heroin, was using when he was supposed to be caring for their child and was possibly hanging out at a “drug house” in Albuquerque.
She said he was supposed to go to rehabilitation in late-2016 but, a short time later, he was arrested for reportedly helping a friend rob a Circle K. That case was pending.
On Feb. 4, a large explosion shook businesses and nearby homes at the Central and Coors shopping center.
First responders and officers quickly determined that one person had been killed by a homemade bomb next to a dumpster in the loading area behind the center. The dumpster and a surrounding wall were severely damaged.
No one else was injured.
Police say the preliminary investigation found the incident was an apparent suicide.
On Tuesday, Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, identified the man involved as Shewmake, but did not provide any other details about the case.
In response to questions about the explosive device, he said police were still investigating.
“As soon as we have more definitive information, we will provide details,” Gallegos said.
Albuquerque Fire Rescue, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted with the investigation.
© 2019 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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