ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s latest officer-involved shooting remains surrounded by more questions than answers.
Police Chief Gorden Eden spoke Wednesday, saying a handgun was found next to the suspect’s body and that the officer who shot and killed her was wearing a lapel camera, but video could not be recovered from it.
“An officer pursued on foot when the suspect stopped, turned and pointed a handgun at close range,” Eden said Monday morning, hours after Officer Jeremy Dear shot and killed 19-year-old Mary Hawkes.
At a news conference Wednesday, KRQE News 13 learned this from the chief.
“At this time, we have no video of the shooting as it has not been recovered from Officer Dear’s o’ body camera system.
News 13 asked if Officer Dear’s lapel camera malfunctioned.
“No, I’m not calling it a malfunction of the camera,” Eden replied.
Did Officer Dear even turn it on?
“That’s information we don’t know, that’s why we sent it to the experts.”
Eden says his camera has been sent to the manufacturer, a company he couldn’t name.
“We know that the technology is not 100 percent fool proof.”
We asked if Eden was simply taking Officer Dear’s word about having the gun pointed at him because right now there’s no lapel footage to go off of. His answer wasn’t clear.
“Detectives arrived and they spoke with witnesses, law enforcement witnesses, as well as the supervisors and they provide me with that info so I can brief the media,” Eden said.
He couldn’t say how many other officers may have captured the shooting on their cameras or if anyone else actually witnessed the shooting, or witnessed Hawkes pointing a gun at Officer Dear.
“And I think that’s a reasonable question to ask,” Eden said. “Right now, I don’t have a precise number or answer for you.”
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Eden showed media a picture of that gun found near Hawkes’ body, a Davis Industries .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol, taken at their crime lab.
Eden couldn’t say if it was loaded or when officers knew she had a gun.
“I don’t have any information about that at this time,” Eden said.
Eden says Hawkes was spotted in a stolen pickup early Monday morning. After eluding an officer, they were able to catch up to her at a trailer park near Wyoming and Zuni. That’s where Eden says she ran and pointed that gun at Officer Dear.
Eden couldn’t say how many shots were fired or where Hawkes was hit.
“That report we have not received from medical examiner.”
As News 13 told reported Tuesday, Officer Dear has a troubled past with APD.
He was flagged by the department’s early warning system in 2012 for a potential pattern of misconduct.
Officer Dear also witnessed a deadly police shooting and was accused of changing his story to match the shooting officer’s version. News 13 also asked the chief about that.
“I would not want to talk about his past at this time because that becomes a personnel issue,” Eden answered.
That shooting cost the city $900,000.
As the news conference was wrapping up, News 13 asked if the Department of Justice is looking at this shooting. Eden says he notified them on Tuesday.