Warrant: Man killed by Laguna officer at casino shot first - Albuquerque Journal

Warrant: Man killed by Laguna officer at casino shot first

A search warrant filed by an FBI agent says a Laguna police officer was shot during a scuffle with a suspect and the officer then returned fire, fatally striking a 20-year-old man at a casino last month.

The warrant provides new details on the shooting, which happened at the Route 66 Casino in Laguna early March 24.

Family members previously identified Mario Sandoval as the man who was killed.

The warrant says that Pueblo of Laguna Police Department officer Peter Tanzilli approached Sandoval and another man in the casino parking lot because the 1996 silver Lexus they were in was reported stolen. Sandoval was the suspect in the vehicle theft.

As Tanzilli approached the two men, he drew his weapon and told them to “get on the ground.” One man ran away and Tanzilli took Sandoval down to the ground, according to the warrant.

The warrant says Sandoval struggled as Tanzilli tried to handcuff him. Sandoval turned onto his back, pulled out a handgun and shot Tanzilli in the left pelvic region. The officer fell to the ground and shot and killed Sandoval.

The FBI agent said the shooting was recorded on Tanzilli’s on-body camera. After the shooting, Tanzilli can be heard yelling for someone to call 911 and that he had been shot, according to the warrant.

The warrant was seeking permission to search the Lexus. An inventory showed an FBI agent confiscated a couple of pipes, a digital scale, numerous cellphones and Sandoval’s driver’s license.


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