ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque police said one of their own was staring down the barrel of a shotgun when he opened fire on a dangerous suspect. It’s the latest in a scary situation that sent a number of officers to the hospital Saturday afternoon.
Police said it started as a domestic violence call, which led to a chase, a shooting, another chase and ended in a crash. It turns out the suspect at the center of it all, was a wanted man.
Albuquerque police responded to a domestic violence call just before 2 p.m. Saturday near Unser and I-40 where a son was reportedly threatening to kill his mother.
“Family member called in and said her son was acting erratic had armed himself with handguns and a sawed-off shot gun,” said Simon Drobik, Albuquerque Police Dept.
When officers arrived, the son, Michael David Pacheco, fled. Police caught up to him at the Walgreens at the corner of Coors and Central. That’s where the suspect and an APD officer had a confrontation.
“Mr. Pacheco in the vehicle was looking back in the rearview mirror produced a sawed-off shotgun, pointed that sawed-off shotgun through the top of the sunroof of the car,” said Drobik.
According to a criminal complaint, that officer said he was staring down the barrel of a shotgun so he fired his rifle from inside his vehicle at that suspect.
“Believed that his safety was being threatened, other officers around him were being threatened, and absolutely the public was in jeopardy at that time,” said Drobik.
Investigators are still looking into whether Pacheco fired or not. After shots rang out, Pacheco fled again — leading police into a neighborhood near Coors and Central. An unmarked police car intentionally crashed into Pacheco’s white sedan to end the pursuit at 64th and Churchill SW.
“That’s an absolute trained move to stop a vehicle like that and stop it based on the fact that there’s numerous children in the neighborhood, there are people walking around,” said Drobik.
Two officers were able to pull Pacheco out of his car through the window and arrest him. At which point the officers noticed something unusual — the suspect was wearing a bullet proof vest. The two officers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries as well as the officer who crashed into Pacheco’s car.
Investigators said they found a sawed-off shotgun and another handgun in Pacheco’s car. Nobody was hit when shots were fired.
APD said the officer who fired did have his lapel camera on and the investigation is ongoing.
Pacheco is charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Eluding. Court records show Pacheco had a previous felony conviction and a warrant out for his arrest for failing to show up to court on a forgery charge.
He’s currently being held at MDC.