NM officer fatally shoots armed woman during foot pursuit
Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said the woman pointed a gun at the officer before being shot
By Ryan Boetel
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque police officer shot and killed a young woman suspected in an auto theft during a foot chase early Monday, the department's third officer-involved shooting in five weeks.
The woman, Mary Hawkes, 19, was the daughter of recently retired Valencia County Magistrate Danny Hawkes.
Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said the woman pointed a gun at the officer before being shot.
The shooting occurred in southeast Albuquerque, on Zuni SE near Wyoming.
"An officer pursued on foot when the suspect stopped, turned and pointed a handgun at close range," Eden said at a briefing Monday morning.
Police would not identify the woman Monday, but Danny Hawkes confirmed Monday evening that his daughter was shot by police.
Police didn't identify the officer involved in the shooting but said the officer was placed on standard administrative leave after the incident.
There were three bullet holes in the brick wall next to the woman's body. Police didn't say how many shots were fired.
A yellow sheet covered the body, which lay on the sidewalk on the south side of Zuni near Wyoming for much of Monday morning. What appeared to be a gun was on the ground nearby.
Danny Hawkes was a magistrate judge for 15 years before retiring last year. He and his family started to care for Mary Hawkes and her younger sister when they were young, and the family subsequently adopted the two children. Danny Hawkes said the family was grieving and would release a statement later.
Mary Hawkes had two previous run-ins with the law as an adult. She pleaded guilty to public drinking and offenses by minors in public after being caught drinking a Four Loko outside a downtown Albuquerque bar in April of last year, according to the criminal complaint. Five days after that arrest, she was charged with stealing bras, panties and a pair of basketball shorts at Sears, according to the complaint. Those charges were later dismissed, according to court records.
As a juvenile, she was charged in 2011 with attempted criminal sexual contact of a child under 13 when she would have been 15 or 16. She was convicted of a lesser battery offense and sentenced to two years of probation.
Those charges were filed in Valencia County but were transferred to Bernalillo County because of a conflict, according to court records. In 2009, when she would have been 13 or 14, she was charged with abuse or possession of glue or aerosol spray, and assault, threat or menacing conduct. She pleaded no contest to the assault charge. The charges were also transferred to
Bernalillo County from Valencia County.
Alberto Lopez, who was staying at the Nendels Valu Inn, a nearby motel, said he was sleeping when he heard police sirens, followed by about three gunshots. He went outside and saw the body lying on the sidewalk.
Maria Martinez, who lives in a mobile home just south of the shooting site, said through an interpreter that she heard about four shots from what sounded like the same gun about 5:45 a.m.
She knew the shots came from the same gun because there are often shootings near her home, she said.
When Martinez went to her window, she said, several police cars had already arrived. She never saw the person who was shot.
An Albuquerque police spokeswoman said multiple law enforcement agencies will investigate the shooting.
Two APD mobile substations parked on Zuni just east of Wyoming and crime scene tape blocked the road for several blocks east of that intersection. A third mobile crime investigation vehicle was parked just north of where the shooting took place.
Police declined Monday to say whether the shooting stemmed from a police pursuit or a pre-planned operation into the stolen vehicle. Police also declined to say whether there were any video recordings of the shooting.
Dispatch logs obtained by the Journal show that police were called to the 300 block of Charleston Street SE after a stolen F 150 truck was spotted.
Nearly three hours later, the suspect was shot and killed near Zuni and Wyoming. An APD sergeant called out a "shot fired" call at 5:50 a.m. The initial stolen vehicle call came at 3:05 a.m., the logs show.
Deputy Chief Robert Huntsman, hired last week to help implement changes resulting from the DOJ report, and Deputy City Attorney Kathy Levy were at the scene Monday morning, along with Chief Eden.
Monday's fatal shooting took place near the site where, more than 33 years ago, an Albuquerque police officer was shot and killed. Officer Phil Chacon was pursuing a robbery suspect in September 1980 when the suspect fatally shot him in a parking lot near Central and Wyoming, a few blocks from where Monday's incident took place.
It is the first fatal shooting of a woman by APD in at least 10 years and the third fatal shooting in five weeks.
On March 16, APD shot and killed James Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man, in the Sandia foothills, sparking local and national outrage, as well as a series of protests against APD. On March 25, APD shot and killed Alfred Redwine near Coors and Central. APD has fatally shot 24 people since 2010.
On April 10, the Department of Justice announced the results of an investigation launched in November 2012 into APD. It found that the department has a pattern and practice of violating the constitutional rights of citizens through the use of excessive and deadly force.
As a result, the department is negotiating with the city on what will become a consent decree. The city has hired, in addition to Huntsman, a civil rights attorney and a former police chief, both of Cincinnati, to help with negotiations and to oversee future reforms.
Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal