APD Codename 'S-23' made life-saving calls during Saturday bloodshed

Created: 10/30/2013 10:25 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned of an unsung hero during Saturday's bloodshed.

The person is referred to in police logs only as "S-23."

S-23, we've learned, is an APD sergeant who was in charge from the beginning.

The story is one of triumph.     

Look closely at life's dark moments, and you'll see someone there lighting the way.

On Saturday, that person was APD Sgt. 23. The sergeant is called only S-23 in police logs.

As it so often goes, shining a light means the hero usually stands in the shadows.

On Saturday, at 11:23 a.m. APD officers knew something was wrong downtown.  

As officers move toward a man threatening to kill, S-23 calls for an officer with a long gun.

At 11:24 a.m., dispatch tells officers what a caller describes:

A man -- Christopher Chase -- is on the sidewalk at Broadway and Avenida Cesar Chavez. He's alone. He has an AK-47.

Within seconds, our mystery Sgt. calls over the radio, "Do not have units approach."

Call it intuition.

One minute and 10 seconds later, Chase opens fire.

S-23's call turns out to be life-saving. No officers are hit in the first volley of gunfire. 

But then, Officer Matthew Hannum is shot. Chase steals Hannum's police car, spraying bullets as he speeds through the city.

S-23 chases after him, and is all the time orchestrating other officers.

It's been almost ten minutes, and S-23 authorizes deadly force.

The chase speeds to Rio Grande, and S-23 tells anyone with a clear shot to fire.

But, he says something else.

He tells officers to remember: Chase may be listening to the radio.

Four minutes later, APD remotely shuts down the radio in Hannum's car.

The chase goes on. S-23 tells officers Bernalillo deputy Robin Hopkins has been shot.

Then in a hail of gunfire, Chase is shot.

S-23 directs officers to safety and pushes SWAT units into position.

Chase is dead.

S-23 advises officers it is safe to approach.

The danger is over.   

Light, it seems, is stronger than any dark.     

APD has released limited information about the officers involved in Saturday's chase and shootings.    

Chief Allen Banks has scheduled a news briefing for Friday afternoon.

Though we don't know whether the name of S-23, or any of Saturday's commanding officers will be released.

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