A carjacking, a shooting without injuries, a suspect found hiding in a wall - Albuquerque Journal

A carjacking, a shooting without injuries, a suspect found hiding in a wall

Daniel Rodriguez, 28 (APD)

Police have charged a carjacking suspect who they say fired at officers during a SWAT standoff — prompting a detective to return fire — with robbery, aggravated assault on a peace officer, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and other crimes.

Daniel Rodriguez, 28, was arrested immediately after the shooting on a probation violation and since has been ordered to serve three years in prison. His attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

Neither he nor anyone else was injured in the Oct. 5 shooting at a house in the 1400 block of Betts NE, near Constitution and Eubank.

When officers entered the house they found Rodriguez hiding inside the wall behind a hot water heater, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

In a news briefing Friday afternoon, police officials released video of the shooting and provided details about what led the detective to shoot at Rodriguez. They did not identify the detective who fired at Rodriguez since he is in a “sensitive investigative unit” called the Investigative Support Unit. The detective has been with the Albuquerque Police Department for 17 years and has not been involved in any other shootings.

The October incident began when a woman called 911 to say she had just been carjacked by a man who threatened her with a screwdriver and a gun, according to the complaint. She said he also took her wallet and cellphone, which were also in her car.

The woman was able to track her car and cellphone, and she told detectives with the Investigative Support Unit that they were at the house on Betts.

Deputy Cmdr. Kyle Hartsock with the Criminal Investigations Division said detectives confirmed there were people inside, set up a perimeter and began making announcements for everyone to exit. Two men came out, but the detectives believed others remained inside.

Detectives who were stationed in a neighbor’s backyard watched a man start to climb out a back window but when they gave commands for him to surrender he went back inside, Hartsock said.

“Another male appeared — we’re not sure if it’s the same male or a different one — reappeared in the window and fired a handgun at officers who are set up in the back of the house,” he said. “A single detective returned fire. Nobody was struck during this exchange of gunfire.”

The back of the house where Daniel Rodriguez had been holed up after an officer returned fire, striking the wall several times. No one was injured. (Courtesy APD)

Hartsock showed a photo of a bullet hole in the wall detectives had been hiding behind as well as evidence markers identifying where the detective’s bullets hit the side of the house.

He said after the shooting 33-year-old Jacob Cormier came out of the house and was taken into custody for a probation violation. He told detectives Rodriguez was still inside.

“The SWAT team cleared the residence and inside they found Mr. Rodriguez hiding,” Hartsock said. “He was taken into custody. During the search warrant executed on the home this black firearm was located on a couch inside the house. Our investigation has already revealed that this gun had been reported stolen locally about June 26 of this year.”

The firearm police say Daniel Rodriguez fired at officers on Oct. 5, prompting one detective to fire back. No one was injured. (Courtesy APD)

The gun was determined to be the one that fired shots at the officers, Hartsock said. And after collecting Rodriguez’s DNA detectives found he could not be excluded from the DNA profile found on the gun. His fingerprint was found on the gun’s magazine, according to the complaint.

In recorded jail calls made days after the shooting, Cormier could be heard telling a woman that Rodriguez was the one who shot at police — “They brought the mini-tank and then he started shooting,” he said.

Neighbors had told the Journal they frequently saw cars without license plates outside the house and had suspected there was criminal activity there.

In response to questions about those reports, Cmdr. Shaun Garrett with the Foothills Area Command said “the property is still on our radar and there are some investigations still taking place in and around that location.”

The Multi-Agency Task Force and the Internal Affairs Force Division continue to investigate the shooting.

This is the fifth time this year police have shot at someone but missed. In total they shot at 17 people — nine of whom were killed, three of whom were injured and one who killed himself right before the officer fired.



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