ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Tears came with the testimonies today, as the parents of a man shot and killed by Albuquerque Police took the stand.
They claim APD destroyed their home and kept them in the dark for too long.
“It’s a pain, an emptiness beyond anything you can describe,” Renetta Torres said before the court.
That was the only way the mother of Christopher Torres could put her loss into words.
“He loved his family, he loved his friends,” she said. “Christopher was just a very caring human being.”
Christopher, the youngest of three sons, battled schizophrenia. The 27-year-old was shot and killed in the family’s backyard by two plain-clothed APD detectives in 2011, trying to arrest him for a prior road rage case.
Renetta remembers a phone call that day. She then raced home.
“It was a scene like nothing I’d ever seen before,” she said. “An officer stopped me and said, ‘you can’t go any further, this is a kill zone.’ I had no idea what kill zone was.”
Christopher’s father painted a similar scene on the stand Thursday.
“I don’t think I’m exaggerating,” Steve Torres began to say. “I think there were maybe 30, 40 officers around the neighborhood.”
Steve says he wasn’t hearing much from cops and that’s when he got on the phone.
“So I called all the hospitals in town and nobody had any record of Christopher being admitted, and at that point, I began to suspect that maybe it was a bad situation.”
Four hours later, they learned of Christopher’s death.
C.J. Brown and Richard Hilger were the two cops who confronted Torres. Brown shot him three times in the back. The city says Torres struggled with the officers, even reaching for one of their guns.
The family says their home was destroyed, along with their lives.
“I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to go back home,” Renetta said.
The city didn’t question any of the witnesses Thursday.
Torres’ attorneys rested their case for the day. The city then started with its witnesses.
This bench trial could wrap up Friday.