At least one Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot and killed a person after responding to a call about shots being fired in an upscale neighborhood near Alameda and Louisiana NE on Monday afternoon.
The shooting spurred an immediate protest by the Black New Mexico Movement and about 30 demonstrators marched toward the scene playing music through a speaker in a cart and carrying signs that said “jail killer cops,” “no justice no peace” and “Black Lives Matter.”
Sheriff Manuel Gonzales, conducting a one-minute briefing on social media, said that around 4 p.m. deputies were called to “an armed subject firing rounds” near Louisiana and Beverly Hills NE.
He said when deputies arrived, the person “did fire rounds in the area of our deputies.”
“Our deputies did return fire, striking that individual,” Gonzales said. “Our deputies then rendered aid and were unable to successfully resuscitate that person and that person is deceased.”
He said no deputies were hurt and there are no outstanding subjects.
“We are currently in the preliminary stage of the investigation and will release information later in the week,” Gonzales said.
Around 8 p.m., protesters gathered in the street, coming to a stop pressed up against the crime scene tape. They faced off with five deputies, who stood mostly motionless. The crowd addressed the deputies, played music and a recording that read the names of people killed by officers around the country.
Arthur Bell, an organizer in the movement, speaking through a microphone said the group had already been protesting when they heard about the shooting.
“We don’t know the person who you all shot, but he’s a citizen just like us,” Bell said. “We’re out here because we give a damn, because we know how his family feels. We understand that, unlike you all, tonight he’s probably not going home.”
He referenced a couple of recent shootings by the Albuquerque Police Department – including that of a well-known Nob Hill bartender two weeks ago – as well as the fear of being stopped by police unnecessarily.
“What we want is equality,” Bell said. “We want you to treat us, the people out here, the same way you’d treat your brother, your mom, the same way you’d want your grandma to be treated.”
Little additional information was released about the shooting Monday evening.
Deputy Joseph Montiel, a BCSO spokesman, would not answer questions about how many officers fired and whether the person who was killed was male or female. He said the sheriff’s office will send out a press release Tuesday with that information.
BCSO personnel were joined at the scene by investigators from APD, New Mexico State Police and the Sandia Police Department. They could be seen walking around an overgrown expanse of land between Florence and Venice NE, near Louisiana.
Montiel wrote in an email that the location of the shooting caused delays relating to jurisdiction.
“The piece of land that the shooting occurred on used to be the site of the old City of Albuquerque Sports Plex,” Montiel wrote. “The land is currently considered Sandia Pueblo property, but within the jurisdiction of Bernalillo County.”
The protest wrapped up a little before 9:30 p.m. after protesters held a moment of silence for the person who had been killed.