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Woman said she wanted to kill people, APD says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 21-year-old woman known to Albuquerque police because of possible mental health struggles was shot in the knee by an Albuquerque officer on Tuesday after calling 911 saying she had a gun and wanted to kill people, according to police.


Albuquerque police spokesman officer Simon Drobik tells what events that lead up to the officer-involved shooting of Danielle Sudlow at Rainbow and Irving Tuesday evening. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Simon Drobik said Wednesday that Danielle Sudlow had previously told police that she wanted to commit suicide by antagonizing officers to shoot her and on Tuesday called to say she was parked in a car near Rainbow and Irving on the West Side and was going to shoot someone.

In response, police sent out a team including a supervisor, an officer trained in mental health crises, two officers carrying nonlethal foam bullet guns and one officer carrying a rifle, to “get the subject into custody peacefully.”

Drobik said they met ahead of going to the scene to plan their best approach, considering the case involved a person with whom they had previous experiences, possibly involving a suicide-by-cop wish. Drobik said the team planned to get the woman out of the car cooperatively but within seconds of arrival around 8 p.m. and an initial loud speaker request for the woman to come out of her car with her hands up, Sudlow came out of the car pointing a gun at police.

All three officers carrying weapons fired immediately, Drobik said.

“This unfolded so rapidly,” Drobik said.

The foam bullet rounds, which are tipped with condensed foam, struck her torso.

The rifle round struck her knee.

The officer who fired the rifle is a 12-year veteran with no previous firearm discharge incidents, Drobik said.

Sudlow was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital and is expected to survive. She faces five counts of aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon upon her release from the hospital.

The shooting is APD’s second in two weeks.

An Albuquerque officer on July 31 shot and killed Robert Savelli, 43, after video shows Savelli pointed a gun at the officer.

There has been a spike in law enforcement shootings in recent weeks.

Since July 4, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has been involved in five shootings, two of which were fatal, two that resulted in injuries to civilians and a deputy, and one that involved no injuries. FBI agents were involved in a shooting Friday that left one person injured.