Golson was listed in stable condition at University of New Mexico Hospital after surgery, APD Chief Gorden Eden said during a Sunday afternoon press briefing.
Eden also confirmed that the suspect’s gun was recovered at the scene and that the SUV the suspect was driving had been stolen the previous day from a local car lot.
Police declined to release any information concerning the type of handgun used by the suspect or say how many times the weapon had been fired.
Golson’s lapel camera “captured the entire incident from start to finish,” Eden said. “The video lasts just seconds. Officer exits his vehicle, he approaches the (suspect’s) vehicle, shots are fired, the officer returns fire and the suspect flees. It happens very, very quickly.”
Eden said there was “no indication at this time” if any of the shots returned by Golson struck the suspect, who is described as white or a light-skinned Hispanic, in his late 20s or early 30s, and about 6 feet tall. He was wearing a blue jacket, blue jeans and a blue baseball cap. He fled on foot north along San Mateo.
Because of poor lighting, the resolution of the lapel camera video is not clear enough to make a positive identification of the suspect, the chief said. Three blurry images of him have been released while the full video is being enhanced at the FBI’s regional Computer Forensics Laboratory to hopefully yield better pictures.
Golson, who was hit by two of the gunman’s shots, was “in excellent spirits,” Eden said. He added that Golson will need additional surgeries, but it was not known when that would take place.
“His road to recovery will be long and the family asks that we do not divulge the extent of his injuries, but I will tell you that they are serious injuries and we pray he will be able to return to work at the Albuquerque Police Department.”
The officer was struck twice, at least once in the torso. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest and was presumably struck in an area not protected by the vest, said APD spokesman Simon Drobik.
Prior to joining APD, Golson served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Eden said. Golson, who is married and has children, “served many units within the Albuquerque Police Department, I think just about every unit in the Police Department, and he recently transferred back to the DWI unit at his request.”
Drobik confirmed that Golson retired from APD a number of years ago and was subsequently rehired within that same year.
The shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in a poorly lit area near San Mateo and San Mateo Lane NE. The photos of the suspect released Sunday were images taken as Golson approached the suspect’s car. The blurry image of a gun can be seen in the suspect’s right hand.
Assisting APD in the investigation of the shooting is the FBI, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the New Mexico State Police, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. ATF is offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman.
Eden said the U.S. Attorney’s Office is also looking at federal charges in this case.
In addition to thanking the other law enforcement agencies assisting in the investigation, Eden thanked the community, noting that, “We have been contacted by judges, other public officials as well as members of the community wanting to know the condition of the officer and what they can do for the officer’s family.”
The biggest assistance the public can offer, he said, is to “help identify the suspect.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call APD at 242-COPS, or the FBI at 889-1300.