Off-duty State Police officer shoots shoplifting suspect at Cabela's - Albuquerque Journal

Off-duty State Police officer shoots shoplifting suspect at Cabela’s

An Albuquerque Police Department officer stretches out crime scene tape in the parking lot of Cabela’s after an off-duty State Police officer was involved in a shooting there Friday evening. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

New Mexico State Police say an off-duty officer critically injured a suspected shoplifter during an exchange of gunfire Friday night outside the Cabela’s in Northeast Albuquerque.

State Police Chief Tim Johnson said the officer is OK and the man he shot is at University of New Mexico Hospital.

Johnson did not say how many times the officer fired or if he identified himself beforehand.

“Whether he’s in uniform or not, if he identified himself he’s working,” Johnson said. “I’m certain he was just trying to do his part for his community.”

Johnson said it began around 8:30 p.m. when a man tried to shoplift ammo from Cabelas near Paseo del Norte and Jefferson. He said employees escorted the man outside before he pointed a gun at them.

“We had an officer who was here, he was off-duty shopping,” Johnson said. He said the officer witnessed the initial altercation and he went to confront the man outside.

Johnson said the man pointed a gun at the officer and the two fired at each other. The man was struck by gunfire.

“The exact timeline of who fired first or how many (shots) we obviously won’t know that right way,” he said.

Johnson also said a person in a vehicle that was with the man at the time fled the scene and they are looking for the driver.

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