Authorities say at least one officer fatally shot a knife-wielding man in front of his parents after responding to a family dispute Friday afternoon on the West Side.
Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina said no officers were injured and three are being placed on standard administrative leave.
“We know we have at least one officer who fired their weapon and we know we have another that fired less-lethal options,” he said at a briefing outside a West Side neighborhood.
Medina did not say how many rounds were fired.
The Multi-Agency Task Force will investigate the shooting.
Medina described it as the bookend of “a tough 24 hours” due to a “tremendous amount of domestic violence calls.”
“The father and mother are obviously distraught; they’re speaking to detectives and as far as I know they are cooperating,” he said.
It was the third time over the past few weeks that a man armed with a knife has been fatally shot by authorities in the city after less-lethal options were used.
Medina said the incident and subsequent investigation may lead to an evaluation of how officers are approaching these incidents and the effectiveness of less-lethal options.
He said sometimes less-lethal options are less effective in winter due to people wearing thicker clothing, whether its Taser prongs not sticking or 40 mm foam rounds not having the same effect.
Medina said he didn’t know if the son was wearing layers.
Albuquerque police have shot or shot at 18 people this year, killing someone in nine of those incidents. Last year APD shot 10 people, four of them died.
Friday’s incident began as a family dispute.
Medina said around 3:20 p.m. a woman called 911 to report a fight between her son and husband at a home in the 2200 block of Odessa SW, near Messina and Gibson. He said the initial call possibly involved the mention of mental health issues, inebriation and a weapon but that is still being verified.
He said officers arrived with a “force array” of lethal and less-lethal options and met the father outside the home. Medina said the son, who they believe was in his 30s, came out of the house armed with “at least two knives” and “some kind of altercation occurred.”
“It seems like it was almost immediate. The early indication is the officers may not even have had the chance to de-escalate because it unfolded so quickly,” he said.
Medina said at least one foam round was fired but “did not have the effect we were hoping.” Medina said the son was then fatally shot by at least one officer.