APD arrests man who was shot by officers

A picture of a suspect pointing a weapon at police from inside a “bait” car, which had recording devices inside. (Courtesy Albuquerque police.)

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.”

A picture of a police vehicle that a suspect had shot at. (Courtesy Albuquerque police)

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