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Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting was armed, APD says

J.R. Oppenheim
August 02, 2017 06:59 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The man shot and killed by an Albuquerque police officer had a firearm and posed a threat following a traffic stop Monday night, according to an APD spokesperson.

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APD on Tuesday identified the suspect as Robert Savelli, 43. Public Information Officer Tanner Tixier said the officer tried to pull over a scooter missing its license plate in the area of Vassar Drive and Phoenix Avenue, but the driver Savallei did not comply with the officer's orders.

The scooter did pull over but Savelli ran from the officer, Tixier said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference. The officer followed. Witnesses told police Savelli was armed and aimed it at the officer when the officer opened fire. APD said Monday night the suspect died at the hospital.

"It's always tragic when you have an officer-involved shooting, but this one's pretty cut and dry," Tixier said. "Mr. Savelli produces a firearm. Police officer shoots Mr. Savelli."

Police recovered a gun at the scene but it's not known if it's stolen, Tixier said. Investigators are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the case.

It's unclear if the scooter Savelli drove was stolen. Doctors found a bag containing methamphetamines in Savelli's pocket, Tixier said.

APD will not name the officer until he is interviewed. The officer is a nine-year veteran of the department and works in the northeast command. There are lapel video and surveillance video of the incident, Tixier said.

Department Communications Director Celina Espinoza said Savelli had a warrant from March for various charges, including drug trafficking and felon in possession of a gun. Savelli's criminal history goes back to 1993 across three states: Idaho, California and New Mexico.

Tixier said traffic stops are one of the two most dangerous calls for officers, domestic violence calls being the other because anything can happen.

"We don't know who we're pulling over, who we're contacting, why they don't have a license plate on the vehicle, why they're running, why they're not stopping, why they got off their vehicle and ran from us," he said. "We don't know."

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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