ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shaine Sherrill, 34, was battling a drug addiction and trying to find a job and a permanent home when he was shot at by at least two Albuquerque police officers Sunday afternoon in the Northeast Heights.
It was the Albuquerque Police Department’s fourth officer-involved shooting since late October, and Sherrill’s mother wants some answers.
“He’s got the biggest heart I’ve ever seen,” Karri Sherrill of Delta, Colo., said of her son. “He likes to make other people feel better. He’s funny. He was a hard worker when he did work. I just want to know his condition.”
The incident began when the mother of one of Sherrill’s four children called 911 because Sherrill threw his backpack at her car. The woman said in a phone interview Monday that he didn’t have a weapon during the domestic dispute.
“I’ve never seen Shaine with any weapon,” Karri Sherrill said. “He’s a big old baby when it comes down to it.”
Police have not said whether Sherrill was armed during the confrontation at Northeastern and Wyoming and have not explained what happened or why Sherrill was considered a threat.
APD did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
Sherrill was taken to the hospital in critical condition Sunday, but the hospital did not release an update Monday afternoon.
Sherrill is a convicted felon, with previous charges ranging from domestic violence to auto theft to shoplifting.
“He’s not an angel, but he’s also not someone who needs to be shot,” Karri Sherrill said.
The mother of Sherrill’s child said she did want Sherrill, who was on the lam from his parole officer, to be arrested, but she wishes the outcome had been different.
“I know he wasn’t some law-abiding citizen, he’s got a drug problem and it’s awful because I wanted him to go to jail,” the woman said. “I didn’t expect for them (police) to shoot him.”
She said Shaine was trying to land a job and find a permanent place to live.
Karri Sherrill said police repeatedly have denied her requests for more information, citing the fact that it’s an officer-involved shooting.
“I don’t want to know the details, I just want to know his status,” Karri Sherrill said. “I’ve called the hospital; they hung up on me several times.”
Karri Sherrill doesn’t know what hospital her son is at, but she thinks he may be at the University of New Mexico Hospital.
UNMH officials could not immediately provide their policy for releasing information to the family on Monday afternoon.
“I’m unable to give you an answer this evening regarding HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) policy for disclosing protected health information to the family of a patient who’s a suspect in an active investigation,” UNMH spokesman Luke Frank wrote in an email.
Karri Sherrill said the lack of information is making a tough situation more difficult.
“I got physically sick,” Karri Sherrill said. “I can’t see Shaine ever doing anything to deserve to be shot. He gets out on parole and then does something stupid, nothing real dangerous.”
Karri Sherrill said she might travel to Albuquerque to get more answers.