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Man Shot By Police Had 23 Arrests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The man who was shot by Albuquerque police after raising a .22-caliber rifle toward officers was at the same time being sought by probation officers, the state Corrections Department said on Friday.

Dennis Aragon, who has an extensive criminal record that includes 23 arrests, was shot by Albuquerque police officer Mike Hill on Thursday and remains in critical condition. He is expected to survive.

The probation officers were looking for Aragon because he had missed a visit with his probation officer on Tuesday, a Corrections Department news release said. Aragon, 41, had begun probation supervision on March 16.

Officer Mike Hill, who has been with the Albuquerque Police Department for 13 years, shot Dennis Aragon three times after Aragon failed to comply with officers and began to shoulder the .22 caliber rifle, Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said Friday.

The rifle was loaded, and the safety was in “fire” position, Schultz said.

Aragon, a gang member, has been convicted of several felonies, including possession of a controlled substance and aggravated battery, and has violated probation several times.

Hill, who was with the Carlsbad Police Department for six years before he joined APD, is a veteran member of the APD Repeat Offenders Program, which deals with some of the city’s most notorious criminals, Schultz said. Hill has not been involved in any other shootings, Schultz said.

According to 911 calls from neighbors, Aragon was seen waving a gun on the balcony of an apartment complex on the 400 block of EspaƱola SE on Thursday afternoon. Callers said he was arguing with another man.

Repeat Offenders Program team members were the first to respond, and Schultz said they arrived in less than four minutes.

Three men were found near the complex when officers arrived and were given commands to show their hands and get on the ground. Two of the men, who were not identified, complied with APD orders, Schultz said.

Aragon refused and began to walk away before he turned and began to raise the rifle toward APD officers, Schultz said. That was when Hill fired three shots and struck Aragon in the stomach.

Schultz said a fight occurred Wednesday night at the EspaƱola apartments over a heroin deal. Shots were fired in the area, and Aragon was suspected of being involved.

Schultz accused Aragon of trying to “settle the score of a drug deal” during the Wednesday incident. He was also suspected of being armed at that time.

Thursday’s incident was the fourth police shooting this year and 24th since the beginning of 2010. It happened less than two miles from where 2012’s second officer-involved shooting took place last month.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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