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3 Officers Cleared in Killing of Carjack Suspect

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Bernalillo County grand jury has cleared three Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a suspected carjacker last year, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Officers Troy Nikko, William Thomas and Michael Oates were found to be justified in the June 4, 2011, shooting of Raymond Leroy Garcia, 41. A grand jury cleared them Wednesday.

Police said Garcia, who had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1992, had pointed a gun at officers during a confrontation.

Garcia was the fourth person killed in 2011, and the 17th since January 2010.

According to police, Garcia allegedly hijacked a pickup truck driver at gunpoint in the parking lot of Freeway Liquors on 2034 Second NW on the Saturday of the incident.

Two police officers patrolling the area noticed a commotion and pulled into the parking lot as the carjacking was taking place, police said. The officers, who were in two separate cars, began a pursuit that at one point reached speeds of up to 60 mph through city streets.

The pursuit came to an end at Lomas and Palomas NE when two police cruisers pinned the truck Garcia had stolen against an iron fence.

Officers commanded Garcia to show his hands, but they spotted a gun instead, police said. Garcia ignored commands to drop the weapon, police said.

The officers shot multiple times.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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