03/16/2006

Former N.M. chief shoots intruder

Journal Staff and Wire Reports

Copyright 2006 Albuquerque Journal

Former New Mexico State Police chief Maurice Cordova shot a man in the abdomen after Cordova and his wife returned to their South Valley home Monday night and found the man in their kitchen, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department.

Erin Kinnard, department spokeswoman, said the couple found David Garcia, 27, standing naked in the couple's kitchen. Kinnard said Garcia appeared to be intoxicated and ran into a bathroom.

Kinnard said Cordova, 76, retrieved a gun from another room, then confronted Garcia in the bathroom. Garcia appeared to have something in his hand, possibly a knife, Kinnard said.

"Chief Cordova felt threatened and fired shots at Garcia," Kinnard said.

Garcia received a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital for surgery.

Cindy Foster, spokeswoman for the hospital, said Garcia was in critical condition Tuesday night.

Kinnard said no charges have been filed against Cordova because it appears the couple came home to an intruder. She said the home showed signs of forced entry.

She said felony charges likely will be filed against Garcia.

A court records check by the Journal shows Garcia had two domestic violence restraining orders filed against him in 2003 and 2004 by two individuals.

Cordova was appointed chief in March 1983, replacing Don Moberly, who had been acting chief since the resignation of Richard C' De Baca about a month earlier.

Cordova resigned Aug. 31, 1985, after a 32-year career with the State Police.

Before his appointment as chief, Cordova had been district commander in Albuquerque and in Gallup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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