ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque police arrested a man overnight after he allegedly threatened citizens and police with guns, and took officers on a short chase.
It started at Wyoming and Zuni – the same area where an officer shot and killed Mary Hawkes, a woman who was suspected of car theft Monday.
Police say Mario Romero, 26, pointed a handgun at several people in that area and when a police officer in an unmarked vehicle spotted him, Romero approached the car and began telling the officer he was distraught over the death of Hawkes, who he says was his fiance.
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According to the criminal complaint, Romero told the officer he borrowed a vehicle to attend a candlelight vigil for Hawkes, then he planned to start a commotion that would lead to officer shooting him.
Police say Romero was suicidal and homicidal. He told the officer he drove by a crowd of people and threatened them with toy guns, according to the criminal complaint.
Romero and the officer eventually parted ways, with the officer relaying information over the radio and detectives following Romero to a convenience store on Central. There, according to the criminal complaint, Romero appeared to threaten about 10 people, who all started running away from him.
After Romero took off the convenience store with a female in the vehicle with him, APD ‘s air unit was deployed to follow him, spike belts were set up, and an APD hostage negotiator spoke with the man on his cellphone.
The negotiator tried to get Romero to stop, but he refused, ditched his car and took off on foot at Rio Bravo and Del Rio.
An APD canine was sent after him.
“At the time when the dog was approaching him, he did toss a handgun that was recovered at the scene. There was also other handguns that were located at the scene,” said officer Elder Guevara of APD.
Police say the vehicle Romero was driving was stolen, and passenger with him, who is younger than 18, was in the car against her will.
Romero was arrested and was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, stealing a vehicle, fleeing an officer, tampering with evidence and aggravated assault on a peace officer.
He is being held on a no-bond hold at the Metropolitan Detention Center.