Suspect in Sunday’s officer-involved shooting dies

Foothills Shooting

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police have confirmed the suspect in an officer-involved shooting Sunday has died.

APD is still waiting for the Office of the Medical Investigator to confirm the man’s identification.

On Monday morning, one APD mobile crime lab unit and a few unmarked vehicles were still at the scene of the shooting that took place Sunday night. Detectives also arrived, going door to door to talk with residents.

Albuquerque police say a suspect was taken to the hospital in critical condition after the shooting near Tramway and Copper. He died Monday.

Chief Gorden Eden says Open Space officers were called to the foothills in the area just before 4 p.m. Sunday on reports of someone camping illegally. Eden says two officers responded and the suspect threatened their lives when they approached to speak with him.

Eden says CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) officers were then called in, as well as a supervisor. Less-than-lethal force was also requested.

Once CIT officers were on scene, Eden says the suspect had a “liaison relationship” with State Police. That’s when two State Police officers were called in.

Eden says that didn’t help things, and the suspect continued to threaten officers, showing knives.

Less-than-lethal force was deployed and Eden says one shot was fired by an APD officer.

Neighbors have said they heard more than one shot; some say there were as many as three to six.

“We heard a couple gunshots,” said Geoffrey Smelser, who lives in the area. “There was a bigger caliber gun that started it and then a couple of small ones that kept going off. We saw like four or five cops up in the hill with some lights shining down. I think they took someone down, but that’s all I know.”

Other neighbors said they could see sharpshooters set up in the foothills. None of this has been confirmed by APD.

This is the first APD officer-involved shooting since Eden took over as chief in late February. Officer Tasia Martinez said APD will brief the media on the shooting later this week.

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