01/31/2007

N.M. officer fatally shoots armed suspect

By Michael Gisick
Albuquerque Tribune

An Albuquerque police officer shot and killed a man in the North Valley after the officer said the man pulled a gun on him.

After the shooting around 7:45 p.m. Monday, a second man in the vehicle who police believe was armed ran into a nearby residential neighborhood. That prompted a massive, hours-long search north of Indian School Road around Rio Grande Boulevard Northwest.

About 10:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Trish Hoffman announced that the second man had been captured.

Details were unclear this morning, but the incident appears to have started around 7:30 p.m. near Sixth Street Northwest and I-40 when someone flagged down an officer regarding a stolen trailer.

The officer followed a truck towing the suspect trailer to Indian School Road and Meadow View Drive. When the officer approached the truck, Hoffman said, "The officer said the man brandished a weapon. That's when he shot the driver."

Neither the driver nor the officer has been identified, Hoffman said.

A second man in the truck fled north into the Meadow View neighborhood. Dozens of officers from Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and State Police including bomb squads, SWAT teams, canine units and helicopters swarmed the area looking for the suspect.

Residents of the neighborhood - from Indian School to Matthew Avenue and from Rio Grande to 12th Street - were told, via emergency tickers on city TV stations, to stay indoors and keep their doors locked. Hoffman said police believed the second man was armed.

The search ended shortly after 10 p.m. when the man was located, Hoffman said.

Early this morning, she said many details of the incident were not yet clear, such as what type of gun was brandished at the officer and whether a weapon had been found from the suspect who fled.

As is the case in all officer-involved shootings, the incident will be investigated by a team with representatives from APD, State Police, the Sheriff's Office and the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office.

This is the second officer-involved shooting in Albuquerque in the past month. A Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man on New Year's Eve.

Santa Fe police fired shots at a man in Santa Fe earlier this month and one of the officers was hit, though apparently by one of his fellow officers. Although it was originally reported that the suspect fired at police, no gun was ever found in that case.

 

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