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Man Shot by Police Had Criminal History

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police officials on Monday identified the man fatally shot by officers after a high-speed pursuit over the weekend as 41-year-old Raymond Leroy Garcia, a convicted felon with a New Mexico arrest history that dates back to 1992.

APD investigators are still trying to determine whether Garcia fired a shot at officers Troy Nikko, William Thomas and Michael Oates on Saturday night outside Cross Country Auto Sales on Lomas NE.

Investigators recovered the weapon that Garcia had pointed at the officers, Police Chief Ray Schultz said during a news conference Monday.

Nikko and Thomas, both three-year APD veterans, and Oates, who has been with the department six years and was acting sergeant at the time of the shooting, were all placed on standard three-day leave with pay after Saturday’s incident.

None of the three officers has previously been involved in a shooting, the chief said.

Garcia had been out of prison less than two months when he allegedly tried to carjack two different people outside the Freeway Liquors store on Second Street NW shortly before 10 p.m., according to Shannon McReynolds, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

In November 2008, he was sentenced to five years, six months in prison for false imprisonment, child abuse without great bodily harm, escape from jail and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, McReynolds said.

Garcia had already served nearly a year of that term by the time he was sentenced, McReynolds said, and he received another two-plus years in good time. Garcia was released on April 11 and was still on supervised parole at the time of Saturday’s incident.

In total, according to Schultz and court records, Garcia has been arrested 13 times in New Mexico – often on felony charges.

The shooting followed a high-speed pursuit that began at the parking lot of Freeway Liquors and ended when Nikko, Thomas and Oates used their police cruisers to pin the stolen pickup against a fence beside Cross Country Auto Sales.

It was the fourth officer-involved shooting in Albuquerque this year.

— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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