August 30, 2005

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A fatal shooting at an Albuquerque Wal-Mart last week was the state's first by someone with a concealed-carry gun permit, authorities said.

Police said Felix Vigil was attacking his ex-wife with a knife near the store's deli counter where she worked when an armed customer intervened and shot him. The woman, Joyce Cordova, was treated for multiple stab wounds and later released from an Albuquerque hospital.

The armed customer, 72-year-old Due Moore, was interviewed after the shooting last Thursday and released.

Police spokeswoman Officer Trish Hoffman said it appeared the shooting was justified. However, it will be up to the district attorney to decide whether Moore, a volunteer with the police department's cold case unit, will be prosecuted.

Moore could not be reached for comment.

New Mexico allows citizens age 21 and over to carry concealed weapons if they complete firearms training and pass national and local criminal background checks.

Moore's fatal shot was the first fired by someone with a permit, according to state Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson. The state has issued more than 3,100 permits since the gun law went into effect Jan. 1, 2004.

Moore took a class to get his permit just 13 days after the law went into effect, said Cody Patton, a manager at Calibre's National Shooters Sports Center in Albuquerque. That's where Moore was certified.

"He was the fourth person ever to sign up for a permit," Patton said. "I've now done more than 300 of them."

Patton said there has been a fair amount of interest in concealed-carry permits at his range _ in particular during the first four months after the law passed.