A check up on an abandoned SUV ended with a New Mexico State Police officer shooting and injuring a man Tuesday morning on the side of Interstate 25 in Northeast Albuquerque.
Carolyn Huynh, deputy chief with State Police, said the officer was not injured and the suspect is being treated at a hospital for non life-threatening injuries.
Huynh said the man was armed but did not say if he fired at the officer.
A steady rain fell Tuesday morning as highway traffic crawled by the yellow tape that cordoned off the shoulder between a State Police vehicle and a blue Jeep. Somewhere in the middle, a gun lay on the ground beside an evidence marker.
Huynh said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that around 10 a.m. an officer assigned to traffic safety operation in Albuquerque came across an abandoned blue Jeep on the side of northbound I-25, between San Antonio and Paseo del Norte.
“A male individual was holding a gun and was walking towards our officer,” she said. “At some point during the encounter at least one shot was fired by the officer.”
Huynh did not identify the man or the officer involved but said the officer has been placed on standard administrative leave.
The officer was working as part of a 10-officer team conducting traffic enforcement along I-25 and I-40. The operation started Jan. 13 at the request of the Albuquerque Police Department and will go on for at least a month.
This is the first shooting by State Police in Albuquerque since the city saw two in the same day — within hours of each other — during the Metro Surge operation last summer. Nobody was killed in either of those shootings.