Man charged after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Rio Rancho police - Albuquerque Journal

Man charged after allegedly exchanging gunfire with Rio Rancho police

Rio Rancho police investigate after they say a man shot at two officers and they returned fire in the Walmart parking lot Saturday morning. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The man wounded while allegedly exchanging gunfire with Rio Rancho police officers in a Walmart parking lot on Saturday morning has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault upon a peace officer with a deadly weapon, aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and other crimes.

Cheyne Estrada, 20, was booked into the Sandoval County Detention Center. His girlfriend, 39-year-old Syra Roman, was also arrested and is charged with conspiracy to commit receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle. Prosecutors have not asked for them to be held pending trial.

The Journal could not reach their attorneys on Monday.

The shooting was the second by Rio Rancho police officers in a period of three days last week.

In the other instance, on Thursday, officers fired at an SUV they said had rammed a police car. The SUV was found later and a person was detained for receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle. A Rio Rancho Police Department spokeswoman said detectives are “still investigating who was operating the vehicle at the time officers were rammed.”

According to a criminal complaint filed in Sandoval County Magistrate Court, Saturday's incident began around 6:30 a.m. when officer C. Ault found a blue Honda Civic in a handicap parking space at Walmart that matched the description of a car involved in recent burglary cases. The car had been reported stolen.

He called officer J. Salido for backup. The officers' first names are not included in the criminal complaint.

The two officers saw a man walk quickly toward the car and get in the driver's seat. That's when Salido tried to do what police called an “extraction technique” on the man's left arm since the door was still open.

“The male still had his right hand free and obtained a handgun from his pocket and fired at least one round toward officers. Officer Ault fell backward, and both he and Officer Salido disengaged from their physical confrontation with the male in response to the firearm being discharged at them,” an officer wrote. “They then retreated due to the threat of deadly force and drew their firearms returning fire.”

Both officers fired “multiple rounds” toward the suspect in the driver's seat but he drove off.

Later that day, officers got a tip and found the suspects at Studio 6 Motel on Osuna near Jefferson NE in Albuquerque. After they gave commands for the suspects to exit, a man with an apparent gunshot wound in his arm and two women – Roman and her daughter – came out and were taken into custody. The daughter is not identified.

Roman told police she had gone with Estrada to Walmart but stayed in the car. She said when he returned she saw two men run up to the car and try to pull him out of it and then she heard a gunshot ring out. She said Estrada “managed to pull himself back into the vehicle and drove off, with his head lowered as she heard additional gunshots being fired.”

Roman said Estrada didn't want to go to the hospital so instead she treated his wound.

Estrada at first told investigators that he didn't know the men who were trying to get him out of the car were police officers, but then he “eventually admitted” he did, according to the complaint. He said he “pulled a .380 Ruger pistol from his pocket and fired it at the ground in an attempt to get the officers to release him.”

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