Video shows Albuquerque police open fire on carjacking suspect, victim

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows how the situation unfolded when three officers opened fire on a suspected carjacker. APD said he was trying to steal an SUV, but the owner was inside it and that innocent woman took a bullet, too.

Officers said they witnessed Lee Brandenburg as he held a woman at gunpoint and tried to pull her out of her SUV. Then, in the lapel video, you can hear a barrage of gunfire.

Albuquerque Police said they were chasing Brandenburg on February 10, after a bondsman paid him a visit and he allegedly pointed a gun and took off.

Police said he was wanted. Body camera video shows officers ran after Brandenburg in the area of San Antonio and I-25.

The Albuquerque Police Department said, along the way, he tried and failed to carjack a man. They said he tried again in the parking lot of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.

APD said officers Mel Acata, James Ortiz and Paul Bellgardt saw Brandenburg with a gun to a woman’s head as he tried to steal her SUV.

As chair of the State Housing Commission, the woman was leaving after a meeting at the RLD building.

“Hey, put the gun down. Put the gun down,” an officer said.

Seconds later, officers fire what sounds like at least 20 shots. Bullet holes in the back of the SUV were later marked for evidence.

Officers moved in to arrest Brandenburg and learned, while they shot Brandenburg in both legs, they also shot his victim in the knee.

It turns out that Brandenburg had a BB gun. He was hit with a long list of charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer for pointing that gun at one of the officers.

APD said all three of the officers are still on duty as the internal investigation into the shooting continues.

APD said Officer Ortiz fired the bullet that hit the carjacking victim.

That woman has not filed a lawsuit against APD. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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