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NM deputy kills suspect who rammed him with car twice

Trapped in his car after it was rammed by a pickup, the deputy shot and killed the driver as he approached

By Rick Nathanson
Albuquerque Journal

BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. — A Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputy, trapped in his car after it was rammed by a man driving a pickup truck, shot and killed the man after he got out of his truck and approached the officer.

The shooting occurred just after 6 p.m. Monday in the area of Gun Club and Coors SW.

BCSO spokesman Sgt. Aaron Williamson, said the incident began in the parking lot of a gas station at Gun Club and Coors when a man in a red pickup truck tried to force a woman into his vehicle.

The woman ran from the man and got into a silver-colored car with another woman. It was not clear if the man knew either of the women, or even if the two women knew one another, Williamson said.

Witnesses told deputies that the two women drove away from the man, heading north on Coors. The man followed in his pickup and repeatedly rammed the car.

"He disabled the car, basically totaled it," Williamson said.

The women then fled from the car and the man in the pickup truck "tried to run them over," he said.

"That's when the deputy arrived and the suspect rammed the driver's door of the deputy's car. After ramming the vehicle a second time, the suspect got out of his pickup truck, at which point the deputy, trapped in the vehicle, fired at least once and hit the suspect," Williamson said.

The deputy was not seriously injured, he said.

As part of the investigation it will be determined if the deputy fired more than once and if the suspect had a weapon "other than the pickup truck," Williamson said. Monday night it was not known where the suspect was hit.

The suspect was taken to University of New Mexico Hospital and "was pronounced deceased at the hospital," Williamson said. His name had not been released Monday night, nor had the names of the deputy or the two women.

Coors was closed in both directions from Gun Club north to Las Estancias, a distance of about a half mile, as deputies investigated the incident under a steady rainfall. Among the 16 to 20 officers present were members of the Metro Shoot Team, which consists of investigators from BCSO, the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico State Police, Williamson said.

Williamson said this was the first fatal shooting by a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy this year, and he believes there might have been one in 2012 but could not recall the specifics.

There have been 20 fatal shootings by Albuquerque Police Department officers between 2009 and 2013, triggering a Department of Justice review that found a pattern of using unjustified levels of force. Since that report, four more fatal APD shootings have occurred.

State Police were involved in three fatal shootings in Santa Fe and Espanola in the past year, and one in Albuquerque. And a deputy U.S. marshal shot and killed a suspect in July.

Copyright 2014 the Albuquerque Journal

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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