ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A longtime Albuquerque police officer on Monday fatally shot a man who had been trying to fence stolen stereo equipment in the Northeast Heights, authorities said. (View the update from Tuesday afternoon of APD identifying the officer involved.)
The suspect, whose family identified him as 31-year-old Daniel Tillison, rammed two vehicles — one of them a police car — as he tried to get away from the officer who had responded to an anonymous call reporting stolen merchandise sales in the parking lot of the Pine Park apartments at 8201 Marquette NE, Police Chief Ray Schultz said.
Schultz said there did not appear to be any witnesses who saw the entire shooting, and it did not appear Tillison had a weapon.
“The weapon used in this case was the vehicle,” Schultz said.
The officer who shot him was the only one to respond to the call, Schultz said. He joined APD in 1994, Schultz said, and left the department for a time to join the military.
The chief would not name the officer because the Office of the Medical Investigator had not yet positively identified the man he shot.
“For the officer’s safety, we need to know exactly who we were dealing with here,” he said. “But if it is who we think it is, he has a lengthy criminal history and was known to Southeast Impact Team detectives.”
Tillison, whose family said he was known as “Oreo,” had an arrest record that dates back to the late 1990s, court records show. He was convicted of several drug offenses, one of which earned him a year in prison and five years of probation, and was twice convicted of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. One of those charges resulted in a one-year prison sentence in 1998.
Tillison was scheduled to go to trial in state District Court next month on charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, possession of heroin and possession of paraphernalia, court records show.
Tillison’s girlfriend arrived at the scene with her mother and the couple’s two small children around 4:15 p.m. Monday, about three hours after the shooting. The girlfriend was being interviewed by police as she cried hysterically.
According to Schultz, the officer who responded to the call about stolen merchandise arrived on scene, got out of his police vehicle and began talking to Tillison. The exchange quickly became confrontational.
Tillison put the black Mitsubishi SUV he was driving into gear, crashed into one vehicle and then the officer’s vehicle, he said.
The officer fired two shots, Schultz said. One struck the SUV, and the other struck Tillison.
Police and paramedics tried to administer aid to Tillison, but he did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene, Schultz said.
Immediately after the shooting, a police car and the SUV could be seen in the apartment complex parking lot. Both appeared to be damaged, and what looked like a body lay on the ground between them.
Schultz said the SUV did not belong to Tillison, but it had not been reported stolen.
The officer was placed on standard leave while a multi-jurisdictional task force investigates the shooting, Schultz said. Meanwhile, APD will conduct an internal review, as will the city’s Independent Review Officer.
Marquette was blocked off between Tennessee and Utah with yellow crime scene tape for several hours while authorities investigated the shooting. Three mobile crime labs were on scene, as were all the top brass of APD, police union officials and the union’s attorney.
Monday’s was the second officer-involved fatal shooting of 2012 for APD. Six men were shot by Albuquerque police officers last year, all of them fatally, and 14 in 2010, nine of them fatally.
There also have been two homicides in the area of Monday’s shooting in the past two weeks.
Schultz said it does not appear the officer-involved shooting is related to either of those.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal