Albuquerque police on Tuesday afternoon released two video clips from Saturday’s officer-involved shooting that left a retired Air Force officer dead, one of which shows the immediate aftermath of the shooting and what appeared to be two handguns beneath the suspect.
In addition, they released a cell phone video taken by a family member of the suspect before the standoff. It shows him holding a gun and ordering his family to leave their home.
However, police did not release video of the actual shooting, citing a number of reasons that they said resulted in no officer having a direct, close view of the front of the house where Armand Martin was shot.
Police also released the name of the SWAT team officer, Daniel Hughes, who fired the single fatal shot. He is a 12-year veteran, and the Martin shooting is his first.
The bullet entered Martin’s front left side and exited from his back left side, said APD spokeswoman Janet Blair.
The video shows officers as they inspect and handcuff Martin – which police said is standard procedure to ensure officer safety – immediately after the shooting.
Martin is lying face down. Police turn him over to reveal two handguns, one silver-colored and one black.
The footage released by APD blurred Martin’s face, and Blair said that was because he sustained a disturbing injury when he fell after being shot.
During the hourslong standoff Saturday night, the 50-year-old retired Air Force lieutenant colonel barricaded himself inside his Ventana Ranch West home.
Police arrived after a call about a domestic dispute involving Martin and his wife and children, who had already left the home. After several hours, Martin fired numerous shots out into the neighborhood. The standoff ended when Martin exited the home and he was shot.
Deputy Chief Eric Garcia told reporters in a brief news conference that Martin fired an as-of-yet unknown number of shots when he exited the home. He said a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy saw the shots being fired.
Before Martin exited, Garcia said, officers had deployed tear gas canisters to try to get him out of the home. He said the decision was made after officers had shown “patience” throughout the standoff.
He said the department’s crisis intervention negotiator, supervisor and department psychologist were all on scene to try to resolve the situation peacefully.
Garcia said Martin had fired his weapon out the second-floor window of his home earlier in the SWAT situation but that officers did not fire then.
“The officers did show patience when he initially fired rounds exiting his house from a second-floor window. The only time that they fired was in this final section,” Garcia said. “…They were still trying to negotiate with him…. We were not rushing it. They were trying to slow down the situation. It was escalated when Mr. Martin exited his home with the handguns.”
Garcia said Martin’s continued gunfire endangered the surrounding community.
Three videos released
Garcia released three video clips and said that the full videos created at the scene will be released later.
The first was a cell phone video taken by a boy whom Garcia said was Martin’s son. It’s taken inside the house and shows Martin shouting for the family – a son, daughter and their mother – to leave the house.
“Get out! Get the [expletive] out! Don’t come back! Leave!” he yells. It also appears to show Martin with a gun in his hand.
The second two clips showed officers approaching Martin immediately after the shooting.
An APD spokeswoman reached later said there are several factors behind the lack of video of the actual shooting.
Spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said it appears no officer at the scene had his or her lapel camera pointed directly at the front of the home, as officers were hunkered down behind armored vehicles to avoid gunfire. She also said that Hughes was at least 150 feet away, so his lapel camera video, if it was trained at the house at all, would have had too large a field of view to focus on the suspect.
In addition, she said officers were periodically turning their lapel cameras off and on to preserve battery life during the seven-hour SWAT situation. The cameras have limited battery capacity and could not have captured the situation in full, she said.
She added that if anyone else in the neighborhood has footage of the shooting, APD would like to see it.
Garcia said detectives have been working “around the clock” since the shooting to obtain as much information as possible, including combing through hours of lapel camera videos from officers at the scene. Not all of the video has been reviewed, he said.
The shooting is the department’s fourth fatal shooting since mid-March and the 25th fatal shooting since 2010. It comes after the Department of Justice issued a report that found that APD had a “pattern or practice” of violating the constitutional rights of those living here.
The city, APD and the DOJ are now beginning negotiations to craft what will be a court-enforceable agreement to produce reforms to the way the department uses deadly force and hires and retains officers.