ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal
State Police early Tuesday shot a woman, who then crashed her vehicle, allegedly stole another car and drove from Albuquerque to a Grants hospital before police caught up to her.
Roxanne Torres, 28, was captured at Cibola General Hospital in Grants and airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital, where she was treated for a gunshot wound to the upper body, according to a New Mexico State Police news release. The wound is not life-threatening, according to State Police.
Police fired shots at her early Tuesday in northeast Albuquerque after she fled from agents who were attempting to arrest a different woman, according to a State Police sergeant.
State Police agents went to a home on the 6100 block of Harper NE shortly after 6 a.m. to serve an arrest warrant on Kayenta Jackson, 27, State Police Sgt. Damyan Brown said. Jackson was wanted on suspicion of two counts of felony forgery. She has been arrested on those charges.
As agents arrived on scene, they made contact with Torres, who fled. Two agents fired at her vehicle, and police are investigating why the agents shot at her, according to the news release. Police didn’t say if Torres was armed or if she fired at officers.
She will be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. She also had outstanding warrants for probation violations stemming from previous charges of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and trafficking drugs.
She has a long criminal history, according to State Police, that includes charges such as driving while intoxicated, trafficking drugs, tampering with evidence, possession of burglary tools and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.
Michelle Myers, 16, and 27-year-old Ashley Molina were also arrested during the incident on unrelated warrants.
No officer was injured in the shooting or police operation, Brown said.
Torres crashed her vehicle in the 7500 block of Jefferson NE. She then stole a white Kia SUV and continued to flee from police, according to the news release. She drove the Kia to Grants to get treatment for her gunshot wound.
Agents are waiting for a search warrant for the Kia SUV.
Neighbor Lori Pineda told the Journal she got a call from Jackson at 6:30 a.m. from her apartment.
Pineda said Jackson surrendered peacefully but that the woman police later identified as Torres, who had stayed overnight in the apartment, fled from police. Pineda said police questioned her and told her that Torres had fired at least one shot at officers from a moving vehicle before crashing and stealing another.
Brown said the detective or detectives involved in the shooting had not been questioned Tuesday and that it was “highly unlikely” that police would have divulged information about the shooting to a witness.
Pineda said eight people were staying at the apartment at the time police arrived. Three people were seen sitting handcuffed near the curb north of the apartment complex.
Pineda said Jackson, whom she met through a Narcotics Anonymous group, called her to say she was about to be arrested and was fearful detectives would hurt her.
Pineda said she stepped out of her apartment after getting the phone call and heard gunshots. She and other neighbors said they heard at least 10 gunshots.
“They just said, ‘Shots fired! Shots fired!’ And they told us to hide behind the mailbox,” Pineda said.
Several other people were detained to be questioned about the incident, Brown said.
State Police came under scrutiny in October 2013, when an officer was seen on dash cam video firing at a fleeing minivan containing five children near Taos. The officer was later fired.
New Mexico State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said he’s unaware of any policy change that might have resulted from that incident relating to shooting at vehicles and would not comment generally about police standard-operating procedures relating to shooting at vehicles.
The Albuquerque Police Department recently changed its procedures to prohibit officers’ shooting at vehicles to disable them, a practice that the Department of Justice said is unnecessarily dangerous.
Unlike officer-involved shootings in other local agencies, State Police will investigate the shooting themselves, though Brown said APD and Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputies are assisting State Police in the shooting investigation.