Saturday, November 13, 2010
Man Shot by Police Is Stable
By Astrid Galvan
Journal Staff Writer
The city's 14th officer-involved shooting played out like most incidents this year, according to details provided by Albuquerque officials Friday.
Ray Russell Tenorio, 38, was Tasered and shot once in the stomach Thursday after he allegedly lunged at officers with a knife, Public Safety Director Darren White said at a news conference. Authorities said he underwent surgery and was in stable condition at University of New Mexico Hospital.
Albuquerque police officers were dispatched to a house on the 1400 block of Alamo SE shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday after a woman reported her brother-in-law was intoxicated and threatening to hurt himself and his wife, White said.
The man, later identified as Tenorio, had a knife to his throat and even his tongue, and repeatedly threatened to kill himself if his wife didn't give him more alcohol, he said.
A group of four officers —two of whom are trained in crisis intervention — held a briefing down the street from the house. They asked the two women to come out before they entered in a "stack" formation, meaning they walked in line with weapons drawn. White said two officers drew their shotguns, one drew his bean bag gun and the other a Taser.
The officers told Tenorio to drop his weapon several times, but he refused, White said. He then allegedly lunged at them with the knife.
Officer Doug Moore, an almost six-year employee, used his Taser. Officer Brian Pitzer, a three-year employee, fired his gun.
White said investigators have not determined yet in which order the Taser and gun were used. Moore and Pitzer were placed on standard administrative leave.
"I can tell you the officers did exactly what they're supposed to do in a situation like this," White said.
The incident was the 14th officer-involved shooting for APD this year. Nine have been fatal. There were six officer-involved shootings last year, five in 2008 and 11 in 2007.
In many of the cases, officers were responding to domestic dispute calls that turned violent quickly. In others, they were dealing with intoxicated or mentally ill people who were armed and assaulted officers.
Still, there have been vocal critics who have questioned APD's use of force. Last month, about 75 people protested the shootings outside department headquarters.
White said city officials have taken note of the high number of officer-involved shootings, adding that officers have had to act quickly in each of this year's life-threatening situations. He said the city is working on a contract with the Police Executive Research Forum for a study of the shootings.
According to court records, Tenorio has a criminal history in New Mexico dating to 1995, when he pleaded guilty to attempt to commit crimes against property. Tenorio was sentenced to almost a year in prison.
He was charged with burglary and larceny in 1997, but the case was dismissed. And in 2008, he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Those charges had been filed against him two years earlier.