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APD: 2nd Car Involved in Drug Deal

  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — View the lapel camera video from the shooting below.
  • For more coverage of APD shootings, click here.

The Albuquerque Police Department named the suspects and officer involved in this week’s shooting, and a lapel-camera video released Tuesday shows that a second vehicle with suspected armed drug dealers further complicated police operations.

Dominick Solis-Mora, 20, is in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital after Sgt. Jason Peck shot him once in the chest during an undercover drug operation at 2:45 p.m. Monday near Furr’s Restaurant on Coors and Iliff, APD Chief Ray Schultz said during a Tuesday news conference.

“Obviously, yesterday was a very, very busy day,” Schultz said.

Police say Peck advanced on the white minivan where the deal took place after Solis-Mora allegedly gave an undercover officer $240 worth of heroin. Peck wore an APD badge on a chain, a vest that said “police” and a badge patch when he shot Solis-Mora, who was pointing a gun toward officers, Schultz said.

Solis-Mora’s gun, a .32-caliber semi-automatic pistol, fell onto the vehicle floor between the passenger seat, where he was sitting, and the door.

Schultz said Solis-Mora immediately produced a weapon once he entered the minivan and tucked it underneath his thighs during the drug deal. He pulled it out when he saw police advancing, Schultz said.

Lapel video released Tuesday did not show the shooting, since the camera faced downward toward the asphalt as the officer ran toward the minivan.

However, one gunshot can be heard on the video, and officers shouted “Watch the crossfire!” as they advanced on the minivan and the second vehicle, a green sedan, in the crowded restaurant parking lot.

Also arrested were Marco Holguin, 21, and Michael Chavez, 32, after police said the two waited in the sedan during the drug deal.

Schultz said a second, lurking vehicle is common practice for drug dealers, since its presence provides “counter-surveillance” in case a buyer rips off the dealer or police are conducting a sting like the one Tuesday.

Schultz said officers advancing on the minivan could have been ambushed if they hadn’t identified the sedan early on as part of the drug deal. Police found a 9-millimeter handgun, money, scales and large quantities of drugs – including methamphetamines and heroin – in the sedan, he said.

Police had identified the area near Coors and Iliff as an epicenter of drug activity.

The suspects had been staying in a room at a nearby Motel 6, and investigators recovered a stolen handgun in the suspects’ room, Schultz said. Schultz said Solis-Mora was a gang member who has been arrested nine times since turning 18 two years ago.

Peck was put on administrative leave, which is standard after a police shooting.

— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal