Albuquerque police have provided more details of last night’s incident in which a man drove away from a Northeast Albuquerque residence after a lengthy SWAT standoff.
The incident began around 3:15 p.m., when police received reports of a burglary in progress at a home on the 2900 block of Shirley NE, according to an email from APD spokeswoman Tasia Martinez. Officers arrived and learned from the resident that there was no burglary, but that Christopher Sosa was inside the home against the resident’s wishes. Sosa is wanted on a felony warrant for allegedly stealing a propane tank from in front of an area grocery store in October.
“Information was received that Sosa was known to be armed,” Martinez wrote in her email, and officers — including members of the SWAT team — began trying to get Sosa to come out of the home using PA announcements. He did not comply.
Around 7 p.m., Martinez wrote, the garage door at the home opened, and Sosa drove away at a high rate of speed after stealing the resident’s purse and cellphone.
“As Sosa fled, he drove the vehicle in the direction of police and residents who were on the outer perimeter of the scene, charging directly at Officer Randal White who was standing by his vehicle at his perimeter post,” she wrote. “As Sosa drove at officer White, officer White fired his weapon at the charging vehicle in effort to prevent the suspect from running him over. The vehicle then drove around Officer White’s vehicle, onto the pedestrian sidewalk to breach the perimeter.”Detectives found the stolen 2005 Toyota Camry a few hours later on Sandler NE near Menaul — a few miles from the scene of the shooting, police said. Witnesses have seen Sosa since the incident, and he appears to be uninjured.No police or residents were hurt during the incident, Martinez wrote in her email.APD is asking Sosa to turn himself in peacefully. Police also are asking anyone who sees him to call 242-COPS or 843-STOP.White, who has been with APD about three and a half years, is on standard leave while the shooting is investigated by a multi-jurisdictional team. This was the seventh officer-involved shooting this year.
The man who drove a car from a residence in the 2900 Shirley NE following a long SWAT standoff Monday afternoon remains at large this morning after police recovered the vehicle on Sandler near Menaul NE, KOAT-TV is reporting.
Police have identified the suspect as 20-year-old Chris Sosa, who they say went into a home near Candelaria and Juan Tabo Monday afternoon, then remained inside the home for five hours before taking off from the home in a stolen car, Action 7 News said.
The suspect “drove the vehicle towards officers and other people in the area, at which time the Albuquerque Police Department did discharge a weapon at the vehicle,” APD Chief Ray Schultz told reporters.
Police found the car near Menaul and Sandler NE overnight and checked out a home near that location but were unable to find Sosa, KOAT-TV reported.
Sosa has a history of armed robbery arrests and is wanted on auto theft charges, the station reported.
4:37pm 12/17/12 — Witness Says Vehicle Fled Scene of NE Burglary
By Charles D. Brunt/Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque police were still on the scene of an apparent burglary in the 2900 block of Shirley NE late Monday that a witness said might have involved police firing at a fleeing vehicle.
Police blocked off Candelaria between Juan Tabo and Morris, but had little to say about the dozens of police vehicles lining the busy thoroughfare as midnight approached.
Police were called to 2920 Shirley NE at 3:14 p.m. Monday to investigate a report of four subjects attempting to break into the residence through a back window. About midafternoon, police spokesman Robert Gibbs reported that three subjects had been apprehended, and a fourth — who police think was armed — was believed to be inside the residence.
A SWAT team was called in just after 5 p.m., and several blocks around the residence were cordoned off.
Lincoln Mark, who lives across the street and a few doors south of the residence, said he saw the house’s garage door open shortly after 7 p.m. and a vehicle backed out as police yelled for it to stop. The vehicle headed south on Shirley,which then turns west and becomes Los Arboles.
He said he saw police approach the fleeing vehicle with weapons drawn.
Mark said he then heard a loud “crunching” noise like vehicles colliding, and what could have been a gunshot.
He said he shot video of part of the incident with his cell phone, and that police later obtained the video with his permission.