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State Police: Man shot by deputy marshal had a gun

Two New Mexico State Police officers talk to members of the Camacho-Alvarado family last Saturday following the fatal shooting of 23 year-old Edgar Camacho-Alvarado , at a trailer park located on the 7500 block of Central NW. Adolphe Pierre-Louis/JOURNAL

Two New Mexico State Police officers talk to members of the Camacho-Alvarado family on Saturday following the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Edgar Camacho-Alvarado at a trailer park located on the 7500 block of Central NW on Albuquerque’s West Side. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico State Police said Wednesday that Edgar Camacho-Alvarado had a gun in his hand and was pointing it toward a deputy U.S. marshal when he was shot by the deputy, who was in the area to find a homicide suspect.

Edgar Camacho-Alvarado, 23. (Courtesy Camacho-Alvarado family)

Edgar Camacho-Alvarado, 23. (Courtesy of the Camacho-Alvarado family)

State Police released information based on statements made to investigators by deputy marshals involved in the operation. It marked the first time authorities have provided details on the shooting, which occurred about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in a West Side trailer park.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Paul Hernandez shot and killed Camacho-Alvarado, 23, according to State Police. Camacho-Alvarado’s family members and a legal team representing them have raised questions about the shooting since the day it happened, and they have threatened to file a lawsuit in the case.

Robert Gorence, an attorney for the family, said Wednesday that questions still need to be answered. He said some of the information released by State Police didn’t match what witnesses told the legal team’s investigators.

“Eyewitnesses didn’t say (Camacho-Alvarado) had a gun,” Gorence said.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Chad Pierce said in a news release that Hernandez entered the trailer park that morning to try to pinpoint where George Bond, 25, was staying. Bond was wanted on a 2014 murder charge in Valencia County, and he had escaped police and deputy marshals in an arrest attempt at a post office near Downtown Albuquerque the day before.

Hernandez told investigators that a man, later identified as Camacho-Alvarado, started following him near the entrance to the trailer park. When Hernandez turned, he told investigators, Camacho-Alvarado was holding a firearm.

Police said that Hernandez drew his weapon and Camacho-Alvarado fled. Hernandez gave chase while identifying himself as an officer, according to the news release.

The deputy marshal told State Police investigators that he fired his weapon as Camacho-Alvarado was running up the steps into his family’s home and started to raise the firearm and point it at Hernandez, according to the news release.

Police said Wednesday that Hernandez fired four shots. One bullet hit Camacho-Alvarado near his right armpit and traveled toward the front of his body before it stopped near his left shoulder blade, according to police.

State Police said other deputy marshals then pulled Camacho-Alvarado from the steps and handcuffed him. They said a 9 mm Ruger handgun was found near Camacho-Alvarado’s body and that the gun was removed by Hernandez and placed in a nearby marshal vehicle. The pistol was loaded and a bullet was in the chamber, according to police.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gorence said Camacho-Alvarado was shot multiple times in the back before being pulled from the steps and shot a fourth time in the back. He didn’t say whether Camacho-Alvarado was armed.

Camacho-Alvarado’s family had said he was working on his car when he was approached by deputy marshals and then shot.

Adan Cano, Camacho-Alvarado’s stepfather, said Wednesday that he did not want to comment on the information State Police released. But he said the family and its legal team will continue to investigate the shooting and offer public updates on the case.

Gorence said it remains unclear whether marshals were aware Camacho-Alvarado wasn’t the man they were looking for when they shot him, and whether Camacho-Alvarado knew that Hernandez was a deputy marshal when he fled. Camacho-Alvarado’s behavior was not unlike that of someone responding to a disturbance near his home in the middle of the night, he said.

At the news conference Tuesday, Gorence had described the shooting as “execution-style” and called on the U.S. attorney to release more information in the case.

Although Camacho-Alvarado was not the target of the U.S. Marshals operation that day, State Police said there was a warrant for his arrest for probation violations from two 2014 felony larceny convictions.

As a felon, he would have been prohibited from owning firearms or ammunition.

After the shooting, police obtained a search warrant for the Alvarado family’s trailer.

A .380-caliber handgun, a magazine loaded with .380 ammunition, empty assault-style rifle magazines and a shoulder holster that had a loaded 9 mm pistol magazine were recovered from the trailer. The .380-caliber handgun had been tampered with, and the serial number was not visible, according to the news release.

After the shooting, marshals asked for assistance from State Police, the Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office to help in their search for Bond.

Bond and several other wanted suspects were taken into custody Saturday afternoon after an hourslong SWAT standoff at the trailer park, where Bond was in trailer No. 29. The Alvarado family was in trailer No. 26.