Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
Police shot and killed a man Saturday afternoon in Northeast Albuquerque after a confrontation in which an officer was wounded.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said the man died at a hospital and the officer was treated at the scene for a “superficial laceration.” Two officers are on standard administrative leave pending an investigation.
Interim Police Chief Harold Medina, in an evening media briefing, said that around 3:30 p.m. officers responded to a man walking in the street at San Mateo and Copper NE.
“They were trying to get him off the roadway,” he said, adding that drivers had to swerve to avoid hitting the man before police officers arrived.
Medina said there was a confrontation and at least one officer tried to use a Taser on the man before one or both of the officers shot him. He said a knife was recovered at the scene and the officer’s injury is consistent with a knife wound.
A video posted on Facebook appears to show the shooting unfold, with two officers following a man on the side of San Mateo. The man turns and runs at one officer, who appears to try to use a Taser on him. The man then turns on the other officer and appears to throw something at him before the officer opens fire several times.
Mariaelena Martinez said she had just picked up her two children when she saw two police officers following a man along San Mateo.
“Every time they would get a little closer to him, that man would charge at them,” she told the Journal, adding that the man was yelling and looked like he was holding something in his hand.
Martinez said one of the officers drew a Taser on the man but it appeared to either miss him or didn’t work. The fourth time the man charged them, she said the other officer shot the man at least five times.
Martinez said the man fell to the ground and didn’t move until an ambulance took him away soon after.
“I cried at first – it’s hard to see something like that,” she said. “… And I have two kids with me, so I was freaking out.
“My daughter goes, ‘Was that fireworks mom?’ and I go, ‘Don’t look, don’t look.’ ”
The shooting comes a week after another involving APD off East Central.
On Feb. 13, an officer was hit in the face by bullet fragments or debris during a shootout with a man near Dallas and Chico SE.
The suspect in that incident, 33-year-old Johnny Ray Gallegos, was taken into custody after a lengthy standoff with SWAT officers.