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Authorities say a man was drinking with some friends before he decided to fire a rifle at multiple police officers from an apartment balcony Thursday evening in Southeast Albuquerque.
Jimmy Lopez, 32, was detained after a standoff with SWAT teams, tactical vehicles and crisis negotiators that shut down an entire neighborhood for hours.
He is charged with aggravated assault upon a peace officer and shooting at a dwelling or occupied building. It is unclear if he has an attorney.
Prosecutors filed a motion to detain Lopez until trial.
Court records show Lopez was charged with shooting a man just over a year ago but the case was dropped after police did not turn over reports to prosecutors.
Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, said police finished their investigation after the dismissal but prosecutors never re-filed the case.
Lauren Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors initially dismissed the case after police did not submit reports within the time limits. She said the DA’s office asked police to re-submit the entire case when the investigation was complete but they failed to do so.
On Thursday, officers were investigating an unrelated use-of-force incident when they heard gunfire coming from the 500 block of Española SE, near Zuni and Pennsylvania, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Responding officers were greeted by more gunfire and police could see bullets hitting the gravel around them, with some having to jump out of the way.
Police said officers locked down the neighborhood and saw a man with a rifle on the second floor balcony of an apartment complex. Dozens of onlookers came into the street to watch the situation unfold as police called in multiple tactical vehicles, one of which tore down large tree branches that were blocking the man’s balcony.
The SWAT team took Lopez and three others out of the apartment after a standoff that lasted several hours, according to the complaint. One of the men told police he, his brother and Lopez split eight pints of vodka before he passed out.
Police said the man told them he woke up to officers banging on his windows and breaking some of them. The man said there were two rifles in the apartment, both owned by his brother, and he was trying to get the others to leave during the standoff.
Lopez and the others declined to speak with officers.
Two witnesses told police they saw the man shooting a rifle off the balcony and identified Lopez as the shooter after he was detained. Police said they searched the apartment and found the rifle used in the incident.