ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police were involved in another officer-involved fatal shooting late Saturday, the fourth since mid-March.
An armed man had barricaded himself inside his West Side home for hours after a domestic dispute. The man exited the house about 6:30 p.m. and fired two handguns, according to police. Police then fired.
Police would not confirm whether their shots killed the man, saying that the state Office of the Medical Investigator would determine that.
APD Deputy Chief Eric Garcia said the suspect – who has only been identified by police as “Armand” – had threatened his wife with a gun, and she fled the home with her two children around 12:30 p.m. She met officers at a nearby park and told them her husband was armed, Garcia said.
A sergeant certified in crisis intervention training responded, and the SWAT team was called around 1:30 p.m. Garcia said police negotiated with the man for hours before police heard shots shortly after 6 p.m. Soon after, the man left the house and fired the two handguns. Garcia did not say if the man fired at police.
“An APD officer discharged his firearm at that time,” said Garcia, who did not take questions from reporters
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office tactical unit assisted in the SWAT callout, Garcia said. Neighbors reported hearing four to five shots, but Garcia didn’t say how many shots were fired by either the suspect or the officer.
Chief Gorden Eden arrived on scene around 7 p.m. but did not speak to reporters.
Neighbors said the man who lived in the home targeted by police was a U.S. Air Force veteran with a daughter in high school and a younger son.
Neighbor Thomas Telesha said the man’s wife worked at Hong Kong Buffet, where he would see her sometimes. He said the family has lived in the 10500 block of Coyote Canyon NW, in a tidy suburban neighborhood, for at least four years and never noticed anything amiss.
“Our kids are friends with their kids,” Telesha said outside crime tape Saturday. “They’re well-behaved kids. I didn’t know the parents too well.”
It’s the department’s fourth fatal officer-involved shooting since mid-March, and comes less than a month after the federal Department of Justice issued a report that found that APD has violated citizens’ rights through the use of force.
The most recent string of shootings began on March 16 when police shot and killed homeless camper James Boyd, who was threatening officers with knives during a standoff in the foothills. Video of that shooting sparked a widespread outcry and led to protests throughout the city.
Alfred Redwine was shot and killed by police soon after, and police said he had fired a gun during the confrontation with them, though they haven’t said where he fired.
Mary Hawkes was shot and killed by officer Jeremy Dear two weeks ago after she allegedly stole a vehicle and pulled a gun on the officer.
The city’s Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry was at Saturday’s scene, along with the Office of the Medical Investigator and APD’s mobile crime lab.