Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
A Santa Fe man shot by police Monday has been released from the hospital and booked into jail.
Dalton Cunningham, 26, was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting and evading a police officer in connection with the shootout with Albuquerque police officers on Monday morning. Prosecutors have filed a motion to detain him until his trial.
Police said that Cunningham at around 7:30 a.m. was inside a “bait car” that had been parked at 7220 Central SE as part of a police operation. The vehicle was equipped with audio and video recording devices and GPS, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
According to authorities:
A police sergeant was watching a video of the inside of the vehicle as Cunningham drove through the Northeast Heights, according to a police news release. The sergeant could see that Cunningham had a gun and relayed the information to officers.
Cunningham started driving the vehicle recklessly west on Osuna between Louisiana and San Pedro, and the city-owned vehicle was remotely disabled. A police vehicle moved behind Cunningham, and he fired multiple shots.
One of those shots went through the middle of the police vehicle’s windshield, which narrowly missed the officers, Gilbert Gallegos, a police spokesman, said in a news release.
The officers in that vehicle returned fire, shooting through their windshield and striking Cunningham in the chin, he said.
Police released a picture from the video recorded inside the vehicle, which shows a masked man holding a gun and pointing it toward the back window of the vehicle.
After receiving a superficial wound to his chin, Cunningham ran from officers to a nearby apartment complex, where he was arrested, police said.
Gallegos said Cunningham is a convicted felon who had several warrants for his arrest at the time of the shooting.
Court records don’t indicate if Cunningham has an attorney.
“A convicted felon stealing a car and shooting at police is exactly the type of person that the court needs to hold in custody until trial,” Assistant District Attorney John Litchford wrote in a motion to detain Cunningham. “The defendant’s disrespect for the law and his disregard for human life show how dangerous he is.”