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Two Albuquerque officers shot, killed

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August 18, 2005

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Two Albuquerque officers shot, killed

Officer Down: Michael King & Richard Smith - [ Albuquerque, New Mexico]

Biographical Info

Additional Info: Both officers were veterans who had more than 20 years experience.

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Officer King and Officer Smith were both shot and killed after trying to pick up a man who was having mental problems.

Date of Incident: August 18, 2005

Suspect Info: The suspect, John Hyde was arrested early Friday.

By Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press

Two Albuquerque police officers were shot to death after going to pick up a man whose doctor requested a mental health evaluation for him.

Police Chief Ray Schultz, in an early morning news conference Friday, announced the deaths in "one of the saddest days in the history of the Albuquerque Police Department."

Police spokesman John Walsh identified the slain officers as Michael King and Richard Smith.

Schultz called the two heroes.

Police arrested John Hyde, 48, early Friday. Hyde was captured less than two hours after the officers were shot, Walsh said. Before Hyde was picked up, police said they were looking for a man in camouflage pants, a black jacket and glasses and riding a black motorcycle.

The two officers were killed after they arrived at an address near downtown about 10 p.m. Thursday after a doctor notified police the man was having mental health problems, Walsh said.

The officers were taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where they died, Walsh said. The chief said both men were veterans with 20 years' experience.

"Members of the Albuquerque Police Department and the Albuquerque community have suffered a tremendous loss," he said. Talking to their families was "the toughest thing I've ever had to do," Schultz said, his voice breaking. "We're grieving," he said. "We're all grieving."

Gov. Bill Richardson ordered flags to half staff in the state through Saturday.

Schultz asked residents who saw officers to give them a wave or a smile. Walsh said the feeling around the department Friday was somber.

Members of the community have been donating flowers, calling the department in support, and offering to help the families of the slain officers financially, Walsh said. "We've had an outpouring of support from the community," he said.

Maren Dey, who lives near the shooting scene, said she was awake when the shots began. "To me, it seemed like a gunfight," she said. "It just seemed like it was people shooting back and forth," she said. "It got really intense really fast."

She went out to the porch a while later to find police everywhere. "They were lined up in the streets and driving in the alleys," she said. "It was more police then I've seen for a long time."

She called her sister Nicole Dey as she was getting off work, and Nicole advised her to hide in the basement until she got home. "The fear was pretty thick," Nicole Dey said. "We stopped at a 7-Eleven after and there were some officers who couldn't even speak."

The last shooting involving Albuquerque police occurred in March, when two officers were wounded in a gun battle after a traffic stop in downtown Albuquerque. Officers John Garcia, 35, and Josh Otzenberger, 25, were each shot twice. The man police said shot them, Scott McMyne, 25, was killed in the shootout.

In 2003, Sgt. Carol Oleksak was shot in the head by a mentally ill man who wrested her gun away while she was on foot patrol. The man, Duc Minh Pham, continued walking, brandishing the gun, until other officers shot him to death.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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