ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Newly released lapel video captured the chaotic ending to a May 2015 incident involving a suspected car thief who allegedly rammed an officer’s patrol car the day before.
Albuquerque police say they came upon 20-year-old Rodrigo Garcia while looking for a stolen white Chevy Tahoe in southwest Albuquerque. That was the SUV reportedly used in the incident with an APD officer the night before.
APD says when they spotted the Tahoe in a yard, Garcia was inside. But he quickly tried to speed off, police say, hurting an officer in the process and running over a fence and bushes.
APD officers started firing soon after. At least 48 rounds hit the SUV as it was driving away, and as it again started backing up toward police.
The Tahoe and Garcia finally stopped moving, but he wouldn’t get out of the vehicle even after cops tried to coax him out.
SWAT officers got to the scene, and at one point threw a flash-bang disorienting device to try and speed up the process. But Garcia still wouldn’t move.
Turns out, he was too injured to get out of the Tahoe. So SWAT officers moved in, pulled him out and cuffed him. He was taken to a hospital.
He hasn’t been charged with a crime, though, APD says, because he’s brain-dead.
Up to the shooting, Garcia had already been arrested three times in 2015. He has a lengthy rap sheet, too.
A woman was also arrested right after this incident. Police say they saw her near the car when they first spotted it, but that she fled to a nearby home.
The ten officers who opened fire were put on leave following the shooting. They’re still on the force and back to normal duty, but an investigation into what happened is ongoing.