Neighbor says New Mexico gunman never raised his voice around shooting victim or twin boys

By Sue Major Holmes, AP
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Neighbor: NM gunman didn’t raise voice with victim

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The neighbor of a woman who was shot and wounded by her boyfriend during a domestic violence confrontation in New Mexico said Tuesday she never heard the man raise his voice around her or the couple’s twin sons.

Albuquerque police said Robert Reza, 37, shot two people to death and wounded Adrienne Baciano and three others at the Emcore Corp. plant Monday morning before killing himself. Police said the confrontation capped a bitter custody dispute between the couple.

The Emcore building in Albuquerque’s southeast heights was closed Tuesday but a stream of visitors dropped off flowers, candles and other items at a makeshift memorial. The parking lot was cordoned off and yellow crime scene tape ringed the area.

A woman who identified herself as an Emcore employee sniffled as she placed a string of flowers at the memorial in front of the company’s sign. She then put a red beaded rosary in a bush and wiped away tears as she walked off.

Company officials said the plant will reopen Thursday.

Stella Baca, who has lived in suburban Rio Rancho across the street from Basciano for years, said she’d never seen any signs something like this would happen. Baca last saw the couple and their 5-year-old twins Sunday.

“They were all outside and the boys were playing in the front yard and laughing. The parents were sitting on the porch. It was a typical family,” she said.

Basciano’s brown stucco home sits in a quiet neighborhood, with towering yucca plants decorating a rocked gravel yard. Police were at the home Monday night, but no one was there Tuesday and a newspaper was left on the driveway near the mailbox.

Baca said Reza had moved out about a year ago but continued to spend time with the children on weekends.

She called the shooting “unbelievable.”

“A lot of people’s lives were changed in a split second,” she said.

University of New Mexico Hospital officials upgraded Basciano’s condition Tuesday from critical to serious.

Hospital spokesman Billy Sparks said two of the wounded workers, a man and a woman, have been released. The other, a woman, was in satisfactory condition.

Their names have not been released.

Associated Press writer Susan Montoya Bryan contributed to this report.

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