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Police shoot, kill man during welfare check

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Police Department investigates after at least one officer shot a man in a house east of Downtown on Monday afternoon. The man was taken to a hospital, where he died. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

At least one Albuquerque Police Department officer shot and fatally injured a man after being called to conduct a welfare check in a house east of Downtown on Monday afternoon.

The man was taken to a hospital, where he died. Police have not publicly identified him.

APD Deputy Chief Harold Medina said that around 1:15 p.m., officers were sent to the 900 block of Edith SE, near Broadway and Coal, because an employer was concerned about an employee and wanted to see if he was OK.

“They made contact with the individual,” Medina said in a media briefing at the scene. “At this time, an altercation occurred between the officers and the individual, at which time at least one APD officer did discharge their firearm.”

Medina said the shooting occurred inside the house and no other civilians were there at the time. He said he did not know whether the man was armed with a gun or any other weapon. He didn’t provide any other information about the altercation.

“We don’t have that information yet,” Medina said. “They’re still working to process the scene. I don’t think they’ve even gone inside the house yet, the crime scene team.”

Medina said two officers were on the call, although he did not know whether both fired their weapons. He said they are both on paid administrative leave, which is standard.

The Multi Agency Task Force, made up of APD, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State Police, is investigating the shooting.

Medina said investigators made some adjustments to lessen the risk of spreading of COVID-19 while they investigate.

“We briefed outside; we’re trying to maintain distance the best way we can,” he said.

Several of the man’s relatives gathered south of the crime scene tape, watching investigators move in and out of the wrought-iron gate in front of the house.

A neighbor, Viola Roybal, said that around 1:45 p.m. she heard three gunshots and went running outside. She said she had not heard any commotion before that.

“All I saw was cops coming from everywhere,” Roybal said. “Then we seen the ambulance take the guy away.”

Medina said APD will hold a full briefing once officers and witnesses have been interviewed and the investigation is further along. He said any available video will be released then.

This is the third shooting by APD officers this year.

On Jan. 6, officers shot and killed Orlando Abeyta, who they said was threatening people at an east Central bus stop with what turned out to be a BB gun. The gun resembled a real weapon.

Two and a half weeks later, officers shot and injured Daniel Montoya, who they said fired a gun through a stranger’s house and then fired at officers when they caught up with him that night.

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