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Grand Jury Finds Jan. 13 Officer-Involved Shooting Was Justified

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kenneth Ellis III, 25, was fatally shot by an APD detective while holding handgun.

A Bernalillo County grand jury has determined that the Jan. 13, 2010, fatal shooting of Kenneth Ellis by Albuquerque Police Detective Brett Lampiris-Tremba was justified, District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced today in a news release.

Ellis got out of his car armed with a gun during a traffic stop in front of a convenience store in the 1400 block of Eubank NE and was shot to death, according to the release.

Investigators with the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police investigated the incident, the release said.

The case was presented to the grand jury on Wednesday, and the grand jury expressly found that no further investigation or other action regarding the officer-involved shooting was needed and authorized release of the findings, the DA’s Office said.

Grand juries have heard three other officer-involved shootings so far this year and in each case have found the shootings justified, the release said.

Ellis’ death was one of several officer-involved shootings protested in October by two police watchdog organizations — Albuquerque Copwatch and Vecinos United, the Albuquerque Journal reported at the time.

According to police, 25-year-old Kenneth Ellis III was holding a handgun during a standoff with police when Lampiris-Tremba shot him after he allegedly threatened officers, the Journal reported.

Ellis was an Iraq war veteran who suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, his family said.

“We want to bring awareness to the fact that law enforcement has to be held accountable for their actions on duty,” Ellis’ father, Kenneth Ellis II, said at the protest outside police headquarters in October. “They tend to take fatal force a little too lightly.”

The elder Ellis, whose family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in his son’s death, said at the time he wasn’t “against the police,” the Journal said.

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