Police say around 8:22 pm, a female, likely the victim’s girlfriend, called police to report that Robert Barela, 51 had been stabbed by 61-year-old Jonathan Kelly.
Police found Barela dead on a sidewalk just down the street from the apartments where Kelly lived in the 1100 block of Lopez Street. The other four apartments in the stuccoed brown house were quiet on Tuesday afternoon, with little movement behind white gated doors and dangling crosses and trash blowing in the wind.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the apartments were no longer a closed crime scene, although police lingered, waiting on workers who could clean the victim's blood from the public area.
Det. Bryan Martinez of Santa Fe’s Violent Crimes Unit says the sounds the neighbor heard were likely from flash bangs, a device that explodes in order to distract people, as the SFPD SWAT and Crisis Negotiations teams tried to get Kelly out of his apartment.
However, Kelly would not leave and eventually stopped speaking with officers several hours after the confrontation started, Martinez says. Officers entered the apartment and found Kelly unconscious. He appeared to have after consumed “excessive amounts of prescription medication,” according to a statement issued by the department Tuesday morning.
Santa Fe's overall violent crime rate rose 14% from 2017 to 2018. There were four homicides in the city in 2017 and five the following year.
On Tuesday afternoon, SFPD and its spokesman were unavailable to say how many homicides there have been in the city so far in 2019.