Officer Sonny Molina was the first officer to encounter Hawkes in the predawn hours of April 21, 2014. Hawkes was driving a pickup truck with the window rolled down, and Molina said he became suspicious when Hawkes said “hi” to him and drove away from the intersection of Pennsylvania and Chico NE around 3 a.m.
He ran the truck’s license plates through a police database, which showed the truck was stolen. He tried searching for her in the area and found the vehicle she was driving abandoned. He called for backup and Dear, officer Tanner Tixier and a field investigator responded.
Molina searched the truck and found a cellphone opened to Hawkes’ Facebook profile, which he used to identify her as a suspect for receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. The vehicle’s owner later told police investigators that Hawkes was seeing his roommate.
Two hours later, around 5 a.m., Molina again spotted Hawkes. This time he was following another suspicious vehicle from a distance and watched it turn at Zuni and Virginia. He drove up to the intersection just as the car was pulling away and saw Hawkes walking on the sidewalk.
“I said, ‘Mary, stop,’ ” he said during a recent deposition. “And she turned around and said, ‘No,’ and that’s when she took off running.”
Hawkes ran into a nearby trailer park. Uniformed and tactical officers were called. Dear and Tixier came from a Dunkin’ Donuts, and a K-9 officer also arrived and started announcing over a loudspeaker for Hawkes to turn herself in.
About 40 minutes later, officers saw Hawkes scale a wall at the trailer park and run east across Wyoming near Zuni. Dear gave chase. He said he was running at her when she turned and pointed a gun, and he opened fire.
Dear has said his lapel camera came unplugged and didn’t record the shooting. He immediately started talking about how his camera was unplugged to officers on the scene and also to Molina when they were instructed to sit in a police car.
Police Chief Gorden Eden arrived at the scene later that morning, and when he checked on Dear’s well-being, Dear told the chief his camera was unplugged and didn’t record the shooting.
“I said, ‘I’m here to make sure you’re OK. Don’t say anything else to me.’ And that was the end of the conversation,” Eden said in a deposition.
Mary Hawkes was one of many children raised by Maryalice and Danny Hawkes. She was one of 30-plus children who have been through the family’s home, Maryalice Hawkes said.
Danny Hawkes is a retired police officer and judge, and the Hawkes family includes numerous law enforcement officers. Her foster brother was an Albuquerque police officer at the time of the shooting.
The Hawkes family’s lawsuit, which was filed in state District Court and is seeking damages for Mary Hawkes’ death, was critical of the police investigation.
It pointed out several inconsistencies in officers’ statements. For example, one officer said he was in his patrol car when the shooting happened, but lapel camera footage showed he actually was about 30 feet away from Hawkes and Dear when shots were fired.
The lawsuit also said there was no DNA evidence, fingerprints or blood on the firearm that police said Hawkes was holding at the time she was shot.