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Video: NM police fatally shoot man armed with hammer

Four rounds fired at close range from a beanbag shotgun did nothing to stop the advance of a man who threatened NM police with a hammer in early December

By Patrick Lohmann
Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Four rounds fired at close range from a beanbag shotgun did nothing to stop the advance of a man who threatened Albuquerque police with a hammer in early December, according to lapel-camera video released by APD on Friday.

Police cornered 37-year-old Andy Snider, who was armed with the hammer, shortly before 10 p.m. on Dec. 8 after chasing him down a university-area alleyway. Snider is not visible on screen at the time Albuquerque Police Department officer Nathan Cadroy shoots at him with the beanbag shotgun, and all that can be heard is "Beanbag him! Beanbag him!" when the officer shoots the first of four rounds, according to the video. The video is mostly dark and grainy outside of where officers' flashlights are shining.

By the time the officer shoots the fourth nonlethal round, Snider can be seen sprinting toward him, undeterred, with the hammer in his hand. That's when APD officer Hector Marquez, who was standing to Cadroy's right, shoots four live, lethal rounds from his handgun from within several feet of Snider, the video shows.

It's unclear how many rounds struck Snider, but he ran past Cadroy and kept running down the alley for a few paces before falling over. The two officers stood near him, calling on him to drop the hammer and waited for backup to arrive.

Snider, a convicted felon, was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The officers were uninjured.

Police encountered Snider after a 911 call from a gas station at University and Central, where witnesses told police that Snider got into a fight with another person in the store.

According to the video, Snider shouts what appears to be, "I am Yahweh!" when police encounter him. They then begin chasing him on foot when Snider refused to drop the hammer and followed him into an alley near Mesa and Gold SE.

Then-APD interim Chief Allen Banks said at a news conference after the shooting that the hammer Snider carried was a "deadly weapon" and that the APD supervising sergeant's initial instructions for Cadroy and Marquez were to use the beanbag shotgun, one of officers' less-than-lethal options.

The shooting was the department's fifth in six weeks when it happened in December 2013, and Snider is one of 21 men shot and killed by Albuquerque police since 2010. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine if APD has a "pattern or practice" of violating city residents' Constitutional rights. That investigation has been underway since November 2012.

Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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