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State Police fatally shoot man during Los Lunas struggle

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

An officer shot and killed a man when he allegedly grabbed another officer’s gun after an arrest attempt turned into a fight Thursday morning in Los Lunas.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Lt. Mark Soriano said the man died at an Albuquerque hospital. He said no officers were injured in the incident.

This is the third time State Police have shot someone in just over a month and the second incident that has been fatal.

Soriano said the incident began when an officer tried to stop a car around 8:30 a.m. on Manzano Expressway in Los Lunas. The driver fled and the officer gave chase as the suspect drove repeatedly into oncoming traffic.

He said officers deployed spike strips, but the man swerved around them into oncoming traffic, almost hitting another vehicle, and a supervisor called off the chase “due to road conditions and traffic.”

Ten minutes later, Soriano said, reports came in of a man standing in the middle of the Manzano Expressway trying to stop traffic. Two officers were dispatched to the scene and conducted a felony stop.

He said when one of the officers tried to arrest the man, he resisted and “a physical altercation ensued.”

Soriano said that, during the fight, the man grabbed one officer’s gun and the other officer fired “at least one round” and struck the man. The officers rendered aid until an ambulance took the man to the hospital, where he died.

“The identification of the male suspect and officers will not be released by the New Mexico State Police at this time,” he said. “The officer has been placed on standard leave.”

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