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Española officer shoots, kills teen

Victor Villalpando
Victor Villalpando
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An Española police officer shot and killed a 16-year-old boy who pointed a gun at officers Sunday morning, the department’s chief said Sunday evening.

Officers were called to Riverside Drive and Corlett Road on a suspicious person report just before 11 a.m., according to a police news release.

Officer Jeremy Apodaca and Officer Ritchie Trujillo arrived and made contact with Victor Villalpando, 16, Española Police Chief Eric Garcia said.

Villalpando pointed a handgun at the two officers and Apodaca shot Villalpando, Garcia said.

The police reported that the boy’s last name was Vialpando, but his brother today said the proper spelling is Villalpando.

Villalpando was transported to a hospital where he died, according to State Police.

Garcia said both officers have 10 years law enforcement experience. He said the officers tried to talk the 16-year-old into putting down the gun before Apodaca fired.

Garcia said the entire encounter was captured on a nearby surveillance camera.

He referred questions about whether or not Vialpando fired his weapon and how close the officers were to Villalpando to State Police.

State Police Sgt. Damyon Brown said the officers involved in the shooting would be interviewed by investigators early this week and then more information would be released.

Sunday’s officer-involved shooting was the first in Española since October of last year when a State Police officer fatally shot a suspect who had shot the officer in the stomach.

Garcia, who described the incident as “horrific,” said he asked New Mexico State Police to investigate and released the involved officers’ names to be transparent.

“I want the public to realize that the more transparent a law enforcement agency is, the more they can believe in that law enforcement agency,” he said.

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