Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
For the third time this year, a local law enforcement officer was gunned down during a traffic stop.
“We shouldn’t be getting used to this. This year has been a heavy year for us,” officer Simon Drobik said after a police news conference Thursday evening.
Albuquerque police officer Daniel Webster was in the midst of handcuffing Davon Lymon on Wednesday night, believing he was riding a stolen motorcycle, when police say Lymon pulled out a gun and shot the officer at close range.
Webster had one cuff snapped around one of Lymon’s wrists before Lymon, 34, reached for the gun and opened fire.
The 47-year-old officer was struck multiple times and left for dead as Lymon, a convicted felon, fled into the night.
Webster survived and was still in critical condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday night.
Police Chief Gorden Eden said a nurse named Rose was at a nearby Starbucks and immediately came to Webster’s aid, administering CPR.
“It’s that immediate action by someone who knew CPR, who decided they were going to make difference, who helped Dan survive,” the chief said through tears at the news conference.
“I want to acknowledge Rose. Rose, we don’t know who you are, but we love you.”
The shooting occurred shortly before 8 p.m. and more than 100 officers from numerous departments converged at the scene, near Central and Eubank, then fanned out in search of the suspect.
Police captured Lymon about 12:30 a.m. Thursday morning after officers spotted and cornered him during the massive manhunt.
“We had a large perimeter set up in Albuquerque in every attempt to locate the suspect in a quick manner, which we did,” Eden said.
He said Lymon has not confessed to the shooting.
“But I think the evidence is pretty telling that he still had Officer Webster’s handcuff on his wrist,” he said.
Webster’s shooting is the third in which an Albuquerque area officer was seriously wounded or killed during a traffic stop this year. In early January, Christopher Cook allegedly shot and injured APD officer Lou Golson during a DWI stop. And in late May, Andrew Romero allegedly shot and killed Rio Rancho police officer Gregg “Nigel” Benner after a traffic stop.
A federal criminal complaint filed Thursday charging Lymon with being a felon in possession of a firearm details the shooting. It’s unclear if he will face state charges.
Webster stopped the motorcycle he believed was stolen in the Walgreens parking lot near Central and Eubank. A man, later identified as Lymon, and a woman, who hasn’t been identified, were on the motorcycle.
Webster approached the motorcycle and tried to handcuff Lymon, but Lymon resisted and pretended he was hurt.
“Officer D.W. was able to get Davon Lymon’s left wrist in handcuff restraints when Davon Lymon stated that his right shoulder was hurt,” an officer wrote in the complaint.
Webster tried to shackle Lymon to the motorcycle’s handlebars with the free cuff, but he wasn’t able to secure it.
Lymon then pulled out a handgun and fired six shots.
Webster was hit multiple times, including at least once in his face near his chin.
He used his radio to call for help as Lymon ran north into a neighborhood.
“Officer D.W. was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital where hospital staff revived him,” the officer wrote.
He underwent two emergency surgeries.
During the manhunt, police set up a perimeter near Central and Eubank, and SWAT teams from the Albuquerque Police Department, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and New Mexico State Police tried to track Lymon down.
They cornered him in a shed after a police helicopter spotted him running through yards and jumping fences. APD’s canine unit captured him hours later.
Officers found a .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun in a vacant lot nearby.
Police took Lymon to the hospital for injuries he received while being arrested.
He is no stranger to the criminal justice system.
He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the beating and shooting of a man in 2001 and was sentenced to 11½ years in prison, plus two years on parole.
He was released in November 2013.
More recently, Lymon was accused of being involved in the beating of a customer at the Knockouts Gentlemen’s Club in a case that caught significant attention on social media last December.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, Lymon, a regular at the club, helped three others kick a man and step on his neck. In a video posted on Facebook, Lymon could be seen holding the victim’s legs down as others beat him. The charges have been dropped, but could be refiled.
Officers are still looking for the woman who was on the motorcycle with Lymon, but police haven’t identified her and don’t consider her dangerous, said Officer Tanner Tixier, a department spokesman.
Celina Espinoza, a department spokeswoman, said Webster’s family and friends were by his side in the hospital.
“His family is overwhelmed by the community’s thoughts, prayers and generosity,” she said.
Meanwhile, police officers went back to work.
“Nobody called in today. Everybody put their uniform back on to go out and do the job they’re supposed to do,” Drobik said.