A State Police spokesman said that to his knowledge, the 40-year-old man fatally shot by State Police on Jan. 7 did not fire at law enforcement officers, contrary to previous reports.
State Police spokesman Damyan Brown said State Police tactical team member Shane Todd – a seven-year veteran of the force – shot 40-year-old Ernest Attebery after an hours-long SWAT situation east of Edgewood.
Brown said he couldn’t release any information on what the threat was because the shooting is under investigation. He said he didn’t know if Attebery pointed his weapon at police.
“Officers are trained that when they perceive a threat, they are authorized to use deadly force,” Brown said.
The incident was tactical team member Todd’s second officer-involved shooting – both fatal – in less than a year. Todd shot and killed 21-year-old Kendall Carroll during a SWAT situation in March 2013 after Carroll fired at police from an apartment complex in Albuquerque.
Tuesday’s shooting was at least the seventh officer-involved shooting by State Police officers since Chief Pete Kassetas took over in August. The department received acute criticism for one, in which an officer fired at a fleeing minivan carrying a mother and her five kids. The officer involved in that incident was later fired.
The Torrance County Sheriff’s Office responded to 911 calls about shots fired around 12:30 p.m. last Tuesday, and the State Police tactical team – comparable to a SWAT team – arrived about an hour later because State Police could see Attebery with a weapon.