ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The night Anthony Juarez was shot in the shoulder during a shootout with police at his Northwest Albuquerque home started with a family outing to a wedding and a drunken disagreement, his wife told the Journal.
Juarez was booked into the county jail Monday evening after spending the past month in the hospital.
According to a criminal complaint filed Nov. 18 in Metropolitan Court, at least five officers were called to the couple’s home in the 3900 block of 67th NW, near St. Josephs and Ladera NW, because Juarez was acting drunk and aggressive.
As the officers began to walk up to the home, they said, Juarez took a rifle out of his truck and said, “I have you in my sights; I will kill you.” The officers retreated and hid behind their marked Chevrolet Tahoe.
That’s when, police say, Juarez started firing at the officers, hitting the Tahoe several times.
“One APD officer returned fire, striking the male subject in the right upper shoulder,” the officer wrote in the complaint. “APD K-9 officers arrived on scene, at which time the offender surrendered. The male was given medical first aid and transported to the hospital.”
Albuquerque police have not released the name of the officer who shot Juarez, and in the complaint the officers are listed as “Police Officer 1, Police Officer 2, Police Officer 3, Police Officer 4 and Police Officer 5.”
Anthony’s wife, Brianna Juarez, said he had never been violent with her before and she is not sure what set him off.
The couple had been married for five years, and Anthony – who is in the National Guard – had recently returned home after spending six months stationed in southern New Mexico.
Brianna said she and Anthony had taken their four children, ages 1½ to 12, to get family photos taken that morning and gone to a wedding that night. She said that on the ride home he was playing with his gun and got defensive when she told him to put it away because it was making the kids nervous.
She said that when they got home, Anthony started to scream at her. She said she took the gun away.
“He just started breaking everything in the room,” Brianna said. “He told me that he was going to shoot me – ‘tonight’s the last night of your life,’ he told me. That’s when I remembered he had a rifle.”
Brianna said she was able to get herself and all four children, including their baby, out of the home through a bedroom window and they ran to a neighbor’s house. From there, she said, she watched as police arrived. She said she heard Anthony count down and begin firing.
“I got back up to see what happened,” Brianna said. “I was expecting to see him on the floor. I was looking for the puddle of blood, because I figured he was dead after all of that.”
She said she believes the officers had been trying to negotiate with her husband and calm him down, but he continued to act aggressively.
“Was he a monster that night?” Brianna asked. “Yes, he was. But that’s not the person that I know him to be or really anyone that knows him or knew him to be. That’s what the cops saw that night. He was not that person before that night.”