Conflicting stories in fatal deputy-involved shooting

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) –  Conflicting stories surround the death of a man shot by a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Sheriff Manny Gonzales said that man wasn’t cooperating and had a gun. His girlfriend says that’s far from the truth.

“I saw the flash. I heard the bang. I saw the bullet holes in the window, the front windshield.”

Destiny Cardenas recalled the early morning hours and gunshots that rang out near Tapia and Arenal in the South Valley Sunday.

“My boyfriend is sitting up and then he just slumps over and falls over,” Cardenas said.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department confirmed one deputy shot that man.

“The male subject was not compliant with deputies commands and during that altercation the individual did produce a weapon,” Sgt. Aaron Williamson said at a news conference.

Cardenas told a different story.

She said she was with her boyfriend, Billy Grimm, in a red car when it broke down on Arenal. They went to get jumper cables to fire it up and came back in a black truck.

When they returned, deputies were there. Someone had called in the red car as suspicious.

“They were going to let us jump the car,” Cardenas said. “They were going to let us go.”

That’s when she said deputies went over to Grimm.

“He was sitting in the passenger’s side of the truck we came in. They were trying to force him out of the truck, grabbing him by the collar saying I gave them the wrong info on his I.D.”

“From there, like immediately, it escalated.”

An hour later, things boiled over.

Gonzales said Grimm reached for and showed deputies he had a gun. Cardenas said his hands were empty.

Both agree on what happened next.

“By the time I realized it, I heard ‘bang, bang, bang’ and there were three to four shots fired off,” Cardenas said, who was standing outside the truck.

She said it took two hours for an ambulance to show up.

“When they did arrive on scene, he had a pulse,” a friend chimed in “He was alive,” added Cardenas.

Gonzales wouldn’t say how long it took for medics to arrive.

Grimm died at UNM Hospital.

“There’s no reason this should’ve happened,” Cardenas said. “It just got out of hand,” said the friend.

Gonzales wouldn’t say if Grimm ever pointed that gun at the deputy or if he fired, too.

Grimm has a significant criminal past in New Mexico including four DWI convictions and had a car theft charge from March pending.

The deputy who pulled the trigger will be interviewed sometime this coming week. He’s on paid administrative leave.

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