Inside the car, all three men were dead.
Now, investigators say that all the victims were members of the Aryan Brotherhood — and so is Kuykendall.
Investigators are still piecing together what happened, but in court documents, they say the men were killed in a dispute related to the violent and racist prison gang and that surveillance video shows Kuykendall in a gun battle involving the same dark-colored car.
The 41-year-old was arrested Friday and charged with federal possession of a firearm as a felon, according to jail records. A federal agent said in an affidavit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico that he believes Kuykendall was responsible for the death of one of the three men, but he has not been charged in connection with any deaths.
He is being held without bond. An attorney for Kuykendall was not listed in jail or court records.
Murder, and the threat of murder, is an integral principle of the Aryan Brotherhood. The group, which the Anti-Defamation League classifies as a white-supremacist prison gang, was founded by inmates in 1964 at San Quentin State Prison in California during desegregation. The group strives “to control drug distribution and other illegal activity within state and federal prisons,” the affidavit in Kuykendall’s case noted.
Group members are tested over their willingness to murder anyone threatening the group. “Members are required, when ordered, to kill without hesitation,” the federal agent noted. “They are required to give false testimony in court on behalf of other members. Members who do not fulfill their obligations to the AB are subject to being murdered.”
The incident in Albuquerque began around 2:40 p.m. Thursday behind a strip mall pizza restaurant, the affidavit said. A commercial surveillance camera captured a “dark colored” Chevrolet Malibu drive up behind Kuykendall as he walked westbound down an alley wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and black mask.
As Kuykendall opened the rear passenger seat and tried to get inside, a person in the car began firing several gunshots, surveillance footage showed. Kuykendall can be seen running around the car, dodging gunfire.
At one point, Kuykendall ducked down and stayed low before diving into the car. Seconds later, Kuykendall exited the car and walked to a nearby dumpster, where he stood for about nine seconds, the affidavit said. He then went back to the car and stood near the open door for several seconds before “possibly moving a person or object inside the car,” court documents said.
“Kuykendall got into the driver’s seat, on top of the driver, and drove the vehicle to the Presbyterian Kaseman hospital,” a federal agent wrote.
A few minutes later, Kuykendall arrived at the emergency room, surveillance footage shows, and talked to the security guard. Police arrived to find one victim in the driver’s seat, another in the front passenger seat and a third in a rear seat. They also found a loaded pistol under the driver’s seat and an empty one “in a locked-back position” on the back seat.
After searching the alleyway, police found a pistol, which was manufactured in Tennessee and probably sold across state lines, in the dumpster. “Kuykendall loitered next to the trash dumpster immediately after the shooting and I believe Kuykendall stashed the pistol there before he fled the scene,” an FBI agent said in the affidavit.
Police also found at least one bullet casing from a similar gun in the car, court documents said.
After the bodies were identified, investigators connected the three victims to the hate group through prison records and by consulting with gang officers at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center. The agent added that he identified Kuykendall as a gang member through his tattoos, including an “iron cross on his right breast” and a shamrock, which the Anti-Defamation League identifies as the group’s most common symbol.
Police have identified two of the victims as Brandon Torres and James Fisher, according to KOB.
Kuykendall, who is known as Sky, has a prolific criminal history. He has at least 35 arrests in New Mexico and Massachusetts, according to the affidavit, four of which resulted in convictions that bar him from having a firearm.
In 2018, he was convicted of assault and battery of a family member in Massachusetts; in 2008, he was convicted of forgery and identity theft in New Mexico; in 2006, he was convicted of conspiracy in New Mexico; in 1998, he was convicted of battery with a deadly weapon — a baseball bat — in Massachusetts.
Police arrested Kuykendall at a home in Albuquerque on Friday and booked him in Bernalillo County Jail.
It is unclear when he will appear in court.