Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Robbery Suspect Killed by Police
By Jeff Proctor
Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque police fatally shot an armed robbery suspect in the parking lot of a busy Walmart on Monday after the suspect rammed police vehicles and shoppers' cars in an effort to get away, authorities said.
He was identified as Mickey Owings, 26.
A pregnant woman, Michelle Munoz, also 26, was in the vehicle with Owings during the incident on the West Side and was arrested on an outstanding felony property crimes warrant, police Chief Ray Schultz said. The chief did not know what she would be charged with nor did he know her relationship to Owings.
More than 40 people saw at least part of the incident, which took place around 11 a.m. No one besides the suspect was hurt.
"We are extremely fortunate," Schultz said. "The actions of (Owings) were very violent. This is also a very complex crime scene we're dealing with. This was a very busy Walmart at a very busy time of day."
Police received a tip that a vehicle that had been involved in a robbery was in the Walmart parking lot at 2550 Coors NW early Monday, Schultz said.
Detectives set up surveillance on the vehicle.
After a few hours, he said, a man and woman came out of the store and got into a green Jeep parked next to the suspected robbery vehicle.
The man matched the description of the robbery suspect, so police closed in and blocked the Jeep from escaping, Schultz said. That's when the man started driving into police cars.
One officer fired an undetermined number of shots, he said, at least one of which struck the man, later identified as Owings.
The man slammed into several shoppers' vehicles as he sped northbound across the parking lot, the chief said. The Jeep jumped over a curb and headed westbound in the wrong lane up Atrisco NW.
Police were able to force the vehicle to the side of the road, the chief said.
"At that point, the suspect lost consciousness," Schultz said. "Officers were able to reach inside the vehicle — at great risk to themselves — and turn the steering wheel so that the vehicle rolled into a wall."
Police closed several roads in the area, including Interstate 40, for several hours. Customers who were kept inside Walmart were allowed to leave one at a time in the hours after the shooting, Schultz said.