By Russell Contreras
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Facing increased scrutiny over its use of force, Albuquerque police shot and killed a man who authorities said slashed a good Samaritan's throat late Thursday, police announced at a briefing.
Deputy Chief William Roseman told reporters that the knife-wielding man was attacking a woman when the good Samaritan stepped in to help late Thursday and was stabbed.
"Officers attempted to talk to the offender and tried to have him drop the knife," Roseman said. "As officers tried to deescalate the situation, the male offender began to advance on the officers."
Roseman said two officers shot and killed the man after he continued to move toward police.
The name of the suspect was not released. Officials also have not released the names of the officers who fired their weapons.
In addition, police did not say how many times the man was shot nor if lapel camera footage of the shooting was available.
Roseman said the good Samaritan is in critical condition, while the woman has been treated and released.
It is the third fatal shooting by the Albuquerque Police Department since the U.S. Justice Department released a scathing review of the agency's use of force and the 40th police shooting since 2010. The report also faulted Albuquerque police for officers' interaction with suspects who have mental illness and how the police SWAT team resolved conflicts.
The city has entered negotiations with the Justice Department over reforms and it could take months before the two sides outline an agreement.
In recent weeks, critics have stepped up the pressure on Albuquerque police by holding street protests and crowding City Council meetings to demand immediate reforms.
Earlier this month, angry demonstrators took over the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, chanting for the ouster of the Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Ede, shouting at Council members and causing so much disruption that the panel's president adjourned the meeting. Protesters tried to serve a "people's arrest warrant" on Chief Gorden Eden and then held a mock council meeting in the chambers.
Demonstrators were removed from the next meeting by police when some approached the podium and refused to speak to protest new Council rule changes on speech.
This week, councilors approved a measure that would require that future police chiefs hired by the city get confirmed by the Council. The measure now goes before city voters in a referendum.
Critics say they are planning a June protest march.
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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press