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Much criticized officer saves stabbing victim

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CORRECTION: This story incorrectly reported which officer-involved shooting was the first of 2010. Aaron Renfro was fatally shot by police on Jan. 9, 2010 — the first to occur that year.

The Albuquerque police officer who fired the fatal shot in one of APD’s most costly and controversial officer-involved shootings is being credited with saving the life of a woman who was bleeding heavily after being stabbed at least nine times.

Officer Brett Lampiris-Tremba was heading away from a field briefing Thursday when a motel employee flagged him down shortly after 8 a.m. in the 12000 block of East Central, according to APD spokeswoman Tasia Martinez. When he drove into the parking lot, a woman, who was bleeding heavily, collapsed in front of his car.

“Officer Lampiris-Tremba immediately ran to the woman and began heroic lifesaving efforts,” Martinez said in an email. “(He) applied two tourniquets to her arm and made all efforts to apply pressure to her multiple stab wounds.”

Emergency rescue personnel said the officer’s actions prevented her from bleeding to death, Martinez said.

The woman survived, and police later found the man accused of stabbing her. They described Freddy Granger, 33, as a violent felon. Online court records show he has been convicted of kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and involuntary manslaughter.

Police said Granger, who was covered in blood, fled immediately when officers arrived Thursday morning. Witnesses told police that Granger tried to stab the victim 20 times “as she fought for her life.” Granger is being held at the county jail on charges including aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, in addition to tampering with evidence.

Lampiris-Tremba was the officer who shot and killed Kenneth Ellis III in January 2010, marking the second of 14 officer-involved shootings that year. The officer shot Ellis as he paced in front of a 7-Eleven store with a gun to his head.

Lampiris-Tremba said during two statements to investigators – one immediately after the incident, and one nine months later – that he fired the fatal shot after Ellis had made a “twitch,” but he later said during a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Ellis’ family that Ellis had taken a step toward another officer.

The shooting would go on to cost taxpayers $7.6 million after a highly publicized civil case filed on Ellis’ son’s behalf.

Lampiris-Tremba declined to be interviewed. APD Chief Gorden Eden, in a statement, praised Lampiris-Tremba and his fellow officers for their service.

“I was very proud to hear of the fast, professional response of our officers in this incident,” Eden said.

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