Lapel video released by Albuquerque police on Friday shows the moment 23-year-old Charles Purvis shot at officers from a few feet away – narrowly missing – before escaping into a northeast-area neighborhood Thursday afternoon.
Officers set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and called in the SWAT team, police dogs and a helicopter to locate Purvis, finding him inside an abandoned home nearly six hours later.
Purvis was taken into custody and charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit a violent felony on a police officer and one count of aggravated assault.
Police spokesman Simon Drobik said the two officers – one of them still in training – had responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart near Eubank and Copper SE around 4 p.m. Walmart employees were already familiar with Purvis, allegedly a frequent shoplifter, and pointed him out to the two officers as he walked toward the exit.
The lapel video shows Kyle Frederickson, an officer in training, telling Purvis to stop before reaching to grab his backpack.
Purvis dropped the backpack and took off into the crowded parking lot, weaving between cars and shoppers, with the Frederickson and officer Brock Knippwrath giving chase.
As Frederickson was about to catch him, Purvis pulled out a revolver and shot at him twice.
Both officers slowed down and pulled out their guns as Purvis fired a third shot at them.
The officers kept their distance as Purvis ran across Eubank and climbed a fence – disappearing into the neighborhood.
It was not until Purvis disappeared that Frederickson thought to check himself for bullet wounds, pulling up his pant legs and sleeves.
As the officers waited for backup in a nearby alley, Frederickson asked Knipprath – between labored breaths – if it would have been justified for him to shoot Purvis.
“It absolutely would have,” Knipprath replied. “Absolutely. He just tried to kill you.”
Fifteen minutes later, Knipprath asked Frederickson if he were good.
“Yeah, my heart’s still pounding,” he replied.