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BCSO: Man thought he was home-invasion victim, shot at deputies

Kenneth Sondergard (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man who shot at deputies, injuring two, in a Northwest Albuquerque neighborhood Wednesday night told investigators he thought he was a victim of a home invasion.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court this week, Kenneth Sondergard, 36, is charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and aggravated battery on a peace officer, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Five detectives with the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office were executing a search warrant in reference to methamphetamine being sold from Sondergard’s residence near Coors and Montano when gunshots erupted through the front door.

“Several shots were fired by him; subsequently, our deputies returned fire,” Sheriff Manuel Gonzales said at a news briefing Wednesday night.

According to the court document, “another volley of fire (came) towards them through the front door.”

Two of the detectives were injured by shrapnel from the gunfire and taken to a hospital. Gonzales said their injuries were superficial and they were treated and released.

Gonzales said that at some point between the gunfire and the arrival of a SWAT team, Sondergard came out of his home and made contact with detectives before barricading himself inside. The sheriff said he did not know exactly when he exited the home or for how long, and it was not mentioned in the criminal complaint.

According to the court document, “another volley of fire [came] towards them through the front door.”

When the SWAT officers arrived, Gonzales said, they were able to negotiate, and “Sondergard came out and surrendered to our deputies without incident after that.”

Another search warrant for the home was issued, and detectives found shell casings, an AK-47 with one “drum” magazine and an AR-15 “with two 30-round magazines coupled together,” all of which belonged to Sondergard, according to the complaint.

Gonzales said three women were also inside the home and were detained at the scene for questioning. He did not know whether charges would be filed against the women, and they were not mentioned in the criminal complaint.

During an interview after his arrest, Sondergard told detectives he “believed he was the victim of a home invasion and shot through the front door,” according to the complaint.

The results of the first search warrant looking for evidence of drug sales were not mentioned in the criminal complaint. Detectives wrote that a woman was seen approaching the house after deputies arrived to issue the warrant and told them she had been buying methamphetamine from Sondergard for about two months.