ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police has released new information about Thursday night’s deadly police shooting near Interstate 40, including the name of the suspect.
APD identified the man shot Thursday night as 37-year-old Ralph Chavez. Police say Chavez beat a woman and stabbed another man in the neck before two officers shot him to death on 2nd Street NW near Arvada Street and I-40.
Police say officers initially responded to a stabbing call around 9:30 Thursday night. Witnesses told police this started when the suspect threw a woman to the ground.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, APD Deputy Chief William Roseman announced that there is lapel camera video of the incident but that video hasn’t been released yet.
APD says it will keep the lapel camera video behind closed doors while it undergoes further analysis.
The department did, however, play an audio clip from the entire confrontation where the suspect can be clearly heard yelling at officers to shoot him.
A transcript of the audio is as follows:
Suspect: “Shoot me! Shoot me! *inaudible*”
Officer(s): “Bro! Bro, I don’t want to shoot you, man. I do not want to shoot you! I do not want to shoot you! I do not want to shoot you! Don’t do it man! Don’t do it, please!”
Officer(s): “Bro, what’s your name?! What’s your name?! What’s your name?! What’s your name?! What’s your name?! *inaudible*”
Officer(s): “Antonio! Antonio! *inaudible* Do not come near me, Antonio!”
The recording ends right after officers ask the suspect to “not come near” them with what sounds like six gunshots.
APD said officers responded to the scene after witnesses reported seeing Chavez beat up a woman and possibly rape her.
Police say that a man walking by and tried to stop the assault when Chavez cut his throat with one of two knives he had on him.
Police showed photos of the knives, some crime scene photos and played some of the initial 911 calls from the scene at Friday’s press conference.
APD did not release the names of the officers involved. APD says they are now on standard administrative leave. APD also didn’t give an explanation about why the officers shot, but Chavez was said to be walking toward the officers with a knife in his hand when they fired.
“What I mean by advancing is he was walking towards the officers with a knife in his hand held up walking at them yelling, ‘Shoot me. Shoot me. Shoot me,'” said Deputy Chief Roseman. “The officers were retreating almost across two lanes of traffic, trying to back away from him to deescalate it.”
Police say officers were also on scene attempting to use less than lethal weapons to stop Chavez.
“A sergeant was on the scene at the time and was attempting to deploy with less lethal ammunition,” Deputy Chief Roseman said. “The good Samaritan is in critical condition at this time the female was treated and released.”
Online records show Chavez has a lengthy criminal history, which includes arrests for assault and battery.
This shooting is the Albuquerque Police Department’s 36th shooting since 2010. It is the 26th fatal shooting and the third shooting since the Department of Justice report was released on April 10.
On April 21, suspected car thief 19-year-old Mary Hawkes was shot and killed by Officer Jeremy Eear. And on May 3rd, 50-year-old Armond Martin was shot and killed after a long standoff with police.
Both of those shootings also remain under investigation and have not yet been ruled justified or unjustified.