A man who was shot and killed two weeks ago by a deputy U.S. marshal had threatened the officer with a BB gun, the Albuquerque Police Department said Tuesday.
The shooting happened when a Marshals Service task force that included a deputy marshal and Albuquerque police officers tried to serve a federal arrest warrant on Anthony Chavez at his home on the 900 block of Upper Meadow.
Chavez was wanted for absconding from federal probation. He was on supervised release for a guilty plea to transporting undocumented immigrants in the United States, Deputy City Attorney Kathryn Levy has said.
APD spokeswoman Janet Blair said police didn’t learn until after the shooting that the gun Chavez had pointed at the deputy was a BB gun. APD was the lead agency conducting the investigation.
It took APD two weeks to release the information. Blair said that’s because APD officials believed it should come from the Marshals Service since it involved that agency’s deputy.
Meanwhile, Marshals Service officials had requested in a July 8 email that APD Chief Gorden Eden not release information about the shooting.
Gerald Auerbach, general counsel for the Marshals Service, wrote that his agency’s policy is not to release the name of the shooter while the investigation “is ongoing by local authorities.”
“We also request that the local authorities conducting the investigation not disclose the name of our employee during the pendency of their investigation,” he wrote. Auerbach acknowledged in the email that state sunshine laws might force discosure by local law enforcement agencies.
In an email to the Journal, he said the federal government can legally withhold the identities of people in such cases to prevent interference in the investigation and to protect the privacy of its employees.
City attorneys, in response to a records request, released basic information last week. City attorneys identified the deputy marshal as Kenneth Daniel. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined on Tuesday to comment on the Marshals Service email.