ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An attempted car-jacking turned deadly Tuesday morning. Albuquerque police officers shot and killed the suspect near Central and Utah.
KRQE News 13 spoke with witnesses about what they saw when the shooting happened. The shooting took place in an area where neighbors said crime is not uncommon.
Now, one man is dead and two APD officers are on standard administrative leave.
“I was on the other side of that fence,” KC Jones told KRQE News 13. Jones was working right across the street when he heard the gunshots.
“They sounded really close,” Jones recalled. “I went down on the ground and when they were over, I approached closer and I saw two officers standing over what appeared to be somebody shot.”
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, their officers were responding to a 911 call about an attempted car-jacking around 9:30 a.m. Officers said that suspect was armed.
“That’s a high priority call for us,” explained Albuquerque Police officer Simon Drobik. “Officers saturated the area and started setting up a perimeter, and then we located him over here at this intersection.”
At that point, police said shots were fired.
“My knees just went weak, and I seen somebody just falling right here,” said Debra Martinez, who lives nearby. Martinez was walking to the store when it happened.
She and Jones saw the aftermath. “It’s kind of – disturbing to me, definitely,” said Jones.
At this point, investigators are not saying whether the suspect fired shots or pointed a gun at officers. However, detectives said a gun was found near the man’s body.
“The gun was probably four, four-and-a-half feet away from him,” recalled Jones.
Two APD officers who were involved in the shooting are on standard administrative leave pending the investigation.
Neighbors said crime scenes are all too common in the area.
“This part of town is really bad,” said Martinez. It’s a sentiment echoed by nearby business owners.
“I’s scary, it really is,” said Joseph Estrada, who works at a nearby auto shop.
“We get people coming in all the time off the street wanting to use the bathroom, or get a cup of coffee and we don’t know what to do,” Estrada explained. “You just kinda have to go with the flow and hopefully they don’t pull a gun on you, or they don’t do something.”
The crime is too close for comfort, in a neighborhood that hopes for change.
Police have not released the identity of the two officers involved or the man who was killed. According to APD, the two officers on leave have been with the department since 2001.
This is a multi-jurisdictional investigation. Police said the original victim is also cooperating with officers.