Suspect, 17, arrested in shooting death of US Postal Service letter carrier, an Army vet

A 17-year-old suspect was arrested Wednesday night in connection with Monday’s shooting death of a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, according to authorities in New Mexico.

Albuquerque Police confirmed the arrest in a Twitter message.

“Our detectives worked with the US Postal Inspection Service to locate and arrest the suspect accused of murdering a local letter carrier. Thank you to everyone who assisted,” the message said.

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The arrest happened “without incident,” police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos told the Albuquerque Journal. Further details about the arrest were not immediately available.

Flowers and notes are arranged atop a mailbox on April 23, 2019, in tribute to a mail carrier who police say was killed outside an adjacent home in Albuquerque, N.M. (Associated Press)

Flowers and notes are arranged atop a mailbox on April 23, 2019, in tribute to a mail carrier who police say was killed outside an adjacent home in Albuquerque, N.M. (Associated Press)

Fox News is withholding the name of the suspect because of his age. A photo shown on local television showed the teen smiling and holding a large handgun.

Letter carrier Jose Hernandez was fatally shot Monday afternoon when he intervened in a domestic dispute between the suspect and his mother outside their home, Albuquerque’s KOB-TV reported.

Hernandez had used mace on the teen after he allegedly “became aggressive” during the dispute, the Journal reported. The teen then allegedly got a gun from inside the house then came back outside and allegedly shot Hernandez, the report said.

Neighbors tried to revive Hernandez but he died at the scene, the newspaper reported.

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"This is something that is completely unexpected," said Rod Spurgeon, a spokesman for the Postal Service.

Hernandez was a U.S. Army veteran and had worked for the Postal Service for 12 years, family members told the Journal. He was originally from Phoenix, the report said.

A small memorial was seen Tuesday outside the post office where Hernandez worked. “Rest in Peace, Jose,” read a sign propped against a tree.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.