Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
Gunfire and screams erupted in a crowded Smith’s parking lot Saturday afternoon when police say an officer shot a man after a short pursuit. A police spokesman said the suspect later died at a hospital.
Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said one officer opened fire in the grocery store parking lot, at Yale and Coal SE, after police chased two suspects there from an armed robbery at a Verizon store near Menaul and San Pedro NE. The second suspect was arrested.
Gallegos didn’t identify either suspect or say if they were armed but did say there were reports that one of the suspects fired at officers during the pursuit.
“The investigation is ongoing,” he said.
Freddie Lam lives nearby and said he had just gotten home when he heard sirens and came outside to see what was going on.
Lam joined a handful of others who witnessed the scene. He said he saw the man running across Coal from the Smith’s gas station into the grocery store parking lot with several officers chasing him.
Lam said the man looked back, reached for his waist as he neared the store entrance and that’s when one of the officers opened fire, shooting several times.
He said the parking lot was crowded with families at the time, both children and adults, who screamed after hearing gunfire and ran.
“There was a lot of people around that guy when they shot at him,” Lam said.
Dozens of police vehicles cluttered the area, blocking all entrances to the Smith’s parking lot, as medical personnel and officers could be seen huddled around a man on the ground in front of the entrance. The man was eventually lifted onto a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.
A van with one shredded tire, apparent bullet holes by the driver door, and evidence markers placed along the ground beside it could be seen in the middle of the yellow tape near some mobile crime labs.
Crowds of neighbors and onlookers gathered on nearby street corners to try to find out what was going on.