ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three sheriff’s deputies opened fire on a truck that rammed a deputy’s car early Wednesday, killing the driver and injuring two female passengers, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
One of the women was shot in the leg and the other received cuts and scrapes.
Deputies say Joseph Jaramillo, 31, was driving a stolen truck with two female passengers when he was shot and killed near Tapia and Trocadero SW.
Jaramillo has an extensive criminal record, and multiple pending charges against him.
Sheriff Manny Gonzales said a deputy tried to pull over the white truck Jaramillo was driving around 3:30 a.m. near Bridge and Paulette SW in the South Valley, but Jaramillo sped away.
“The deputy turned off his lights and sirens and put out an attempt to locate via police radio,” Gonzales said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
Another deputy spotted the truck near Bridge and Goff.
Deputies tried to stop the driver, but he rammed one of the deputy’s cars, Gonzales said. Three deputies then opened fire.
“Three deputies fired multiple rounds, striking and killing the driver of the truck,” he said.
A Journal photographer who arrived shortly after 6 a.m. found a short-barreled revolver lying in the road on San Ygnacio about a block from the scene. Deputies interviewed him and blocked off the area.
Gonzales said at the press conference that deputies believe the gun was thrown from the vehicle.
The two injured passengers were treated and released from the hospital Wednesday.
Deputies have interviewed the women, but Gonzales didn’t describe what they’ve said to investigators. He said investigators want to interview the deputies before publicly releasing what the witnesses said in order to not “taint the statements of the deputies.”
He did not identify the deputies on Wednesday.
Gonzales identified the man shot and killed as Jaramillo, displaying a recent mug shot on a television screen during the press conference.
Jaramillo has pleaded guilty in multiple cases, including to charges of shoplifting, drug possession, larceny, aggravated assault and burglary. He has an open criminal case in which he is facing charges of aggravated assault against a household member, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary, child abuse, possession of a firearm by a felon, battery against a household member and criminal damage to property.
A judge had filed a bench warrant for him after he failed to appear in an aggravated assault case, according to court records.
And the truck he was driving was confirmed to be stolen, Gonzales said.
None of the deputies was injured.
Dorothy Montoya lives about a block from where the shooting took place. She said she heard around four gunshots early Wednesday morning.
“It’s pretty scary, but I have to tell you, we hear gunshots all the time,” Montoya said. “I didn’t think much of it at first.”
She said after the gunshots she went outside in a bathrobe and saw many deputies had arrived, blocking Tapia SW.
When asked at the press conference if lapel camera footage would help in deputy-involved shootings, Gonzales said the department can’t afford them. The sheriff’s department does not use body cameras, as opposed to APD officers, who are required to.
Gonzales suggested that instead of deputies wearing lapel cameras, offenders should wear them.
“There are a lot of violent offenders out there, why aren’t we holding them accountable?” he said. “It’s crossed my mind as to whether we should be putting body cameras on the people who should be held accountable like these repeat offenders instead of our deputies.”
This is the fifth time sheriff’s deputies have fired on a suspect this year.
In October, deputies fired on a vehicle after the driver fled a traffic stop and allegedly drove into the deputy’s car in the South Valley. The suspect got away and deputies said at the time they were unsure if the suspect was hit.
In May, a deputy called to a domestic violence incident shot and killed Billy Grimm, who allegedly had a gun.
A deputy shot at suspect Danan Gabaldon in March, but did not hit him. Gabaldon was shot later in the year by Albuquerque Police Department officers.
And in January, a deputy shot and injured Alejandro Valdez during a shootout after Valdez had allegedly fled in a stolen car. Valdez was captured after a SWAT standoff.
Gonzales said the deputies involved in Wednesday’s shooting will be interviewed early next week. They are on standard paid administrative leave.
“Once the deputies have been interviewed we will provide additional information,” Gonzales said.