ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Destiny Cardenas said she briefly made eye contact with her boyfriend, Billy Grimm, in the moments after a Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy shot the 44-year-old Albuquerque man early Sunday.
Grimm then slumped forward in the passenger seat of the pickup truck he was in, Cardenas said. She opened the passenger door and saw a bloodstain spreading on the back of his shirt, suggesting that he had been shot in the chest and that the bullet passed through his body, she said.
The shooting left at least three bullet holes in the truck’s windshield, she said.
Deputies on Monday identified Grimm as the man who was fatally shot by a deputy about 3 a.m. Sunday in Albuquerque’s South Valley.
Grimm “refused to cooperate with deputies and brandished a firearm,” Sheriff Manny Gonzales told a news conference the day of the shooting.
On Monday, Cardenas questioned the Sheriff’s Office account that Grimm was armed during the confrontation.
“I didn’t see a weapon,” she said.
Cardenas said she watched the confrontation unfold while standing in front of the truck. She was standing beside the deputy at the time he fired the fatal shots, she said.
Grimm previously had told Cardenas he did not own a gun, she said. Nor did she see Grimm reach for a weapon during the confrontation, she said.
Sgt. Aaron Williamson said Monday that deputies recovered a firearm from inside the truck, but he declined to respond to Cardenas’ comments.
“Of course I have a response, but I can’t provide it until after the deputy has been interviewed,” which should happen later this week, Williamson said.
The Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the deputy who fired the fatal shots.
Deputies arrived at Arenal and Tapia SW after they received a 911 call shortly after 2 a.m. from a neighbor who reported hearing a quarrel near a vehicle parked on Arenal.
Deputies found a red Ford sedan parked on Arenal just east of Tapia. A black pickup pulled up while deputies were on the scene.
Cardenas said she and Grimm were in the red Ford when it stalled on Arenal. The two walked to her grandmother’s house, borrowed a black pickup and drove back to Arenal, where they encountered two deputies, she said.
The deputies asked the couple to move the Ford and offered jumper cables to help them start the car, she said.
The situation became tense after a deputy asked Grimm to get out of the passenger seat of the truck and Grimm refused, Cardenas said.
One deputy reached through the passenger window and grabbed Grimm by the shirt collar, she said.
Cardenas said she was standing next to the other deputy in front of the truck when she saw him draw his service weapon and fire three or four shots through the truck’s windshield.
Grimm died a few hours later at University of New Mexico Hospital, deputies said.