ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Interim Chief Allen Banks said during a press conference on Thursday that the man APD officers shot after an domestic disturbance call on Sunday didn’t have a gun.
According to Banks, the suspect had only a metal brake pad or a knife which he pointed at officers to simulate a gun.
Banks also said suspect Shaine Sherrill had threatened suicide on Thanksgiving and had said he wanted police to shoot him during a domestic violence incident in April 2012.
Banks said police knew about both prior incidents when they encountered Sherrill on Dec. 1, but he didn’t know Thursday whether any of the officers who responded were trained in de-escalation or even if a call was put out to request a Crisis Intervention trained officer.
Witnesses told police, Banks said, that Sherrill produced a gun from his waistband and pointed it at officers. One witness even said Sherrill fired at officers before being shot himself.
However, police later found only a long-handled knife and a metal brake pad on scene.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Thursday, December 5, 2013 edition of the Albuquerque Journal.
by Nicole Perez / Journal Staff Writer
2 officers in shooting have little time at APD
Two of the three officers who shot at Shaine Sherrill in the Northeast Heights on Sunday have less than two years of experience on the force, according to an Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman.
Police have not answered repeated inquiries into whether Sherrill, who was at the hospital in critical condition Tuesday, was armed during the confrontation, and they have not explained why he was deemed a threat. Police Chief Allen Banks said Sunday that one of the officers called out that the suspect had a gun, but police have not confirmed that.
APD spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said officers Luke McPeek, who joined the force in August 2012, David Muñoz, who joined in April 2012, and Jim Edison, who joined in 2007, all fired shots during the confrontation.
Family members said little information has been released to them because police say it’s an active investigation. But Sherrill’s mother, Karri Sherrill, said his father visited him at the University of New Mexico Hospital, where he is undergoing surgeries.
“He opened his eyes and smiled real big, that was just one of the best things I’ve heard,” Karri Sherrill said. “He’s a strong young man, thank God. They did everything to keep him alive.”
She said her son suffered a shattered arm, collapsed lung and broken ribs due to the gunshot wounds; his spleen was removed, and pins are now holding one of his legs together.
“It’s got to be different, they’ve got Tasers they can use,” Karri Sherrill said. “I’m not a cop, but I wish they would do things differently.”
Other family members are also upset about the shooting.
Shaine Sherrill’s uncle, Mark Sherrill, was arrested Tuesday after driving recklessly near where his nephew was shot, according to court records.
Mark Sherrill was allegedly driving at a “high rate of speed” near Wyoming and Northeastern late Monday when he ran at least two red lights and crashed into another vehicle before fleeing the scene and losing police, according to the criminal complaint.
Police contacted Mark Sherrill’s mother, who said he was having a hard time because his nephew was shot, the complaint said.
“Ms. Sherrill was not very friendly with police and stated that she did not like us,” the complaint reads.
Early Tuesday, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies tried to stop Mark Sherrill on Sandia Crest Road, but he fled, driving more than 100 miles per hour, according to the complaint.
Sherrill called police from his mother’s house at 5 a.m. Tuesday, where he was arrested, according to the complaint. He told police he hadn’t stopped because he “did not want to get shot,” according to the complaint.