Albuquerque police say a suspect driving in a stolen car was shot and killed after he pulled a gun on officers. The fatal shooting occurred Sunday shortly after 5 p.m. when officers were following a stolen car 9100 Menaul Blvd NE.
Police arrived at the Walmart on Wyoming Blvd. near Menaul Blvd. NE and watched a man and woman get out of the car. An APD spokesperson says the officers approached the couple and the man fled. Investigators say the man then turned and held up a gun. Officers then shot him.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman was not injured and taken into custody. The names of the suspect who was killed and the woman have not been released. The officers, who were not identified, are on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Police have not said whether officers’ body cameras recorded the shooting but say a gun was recovered from the scene.
To date, according to APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos, APD has had six officer-involved shootings in 2021. Of those, three were fatal and three were non-fatal. Five of the six involved an individual who police say had a firearm. The sixth involved a man who had a lethal cutting instrument and threw it at an officer.
This is the second time in a month that APD has been involved in a shooting of an auto theft suspect. In July, officers were involved in a non-fatal shooting of a man was attempting to steal a bait car in NE Albuquerque.
Albuquerque police since 2015 have been operating under a settlement agreement that outlines a series of reforms police have to make after a Department of Justice investigation found the department had a pattern of excessive force, which included police shootings.
APD Chief Harold Medina has vowed to implement police reform and address the culture of excessive use of force within the department, while at the same time working to address community concerns of record-breaking violent crime in the city.
New Mexico State Police have been deployed to assist APD in tackling crime within the city, but the last time they were deployed to help APD faced backlash from community leaders and civil rights organizations for not following DOJ reforms set in place. Within one week of arriving in Albuquerque, state police were involved in two officer-involved shootings.