911 call released of foothills SWAT standoff

Created: 03/21/2014 10:12 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Police have released the 911 call that led to a SWAT standoff and deadly confrontation in the foothills Sunday.

“I've got a homeless living in our back area, we're next to the Sandia mountains, they've been out there for a month,” the caller said.

The 911 call led Albuquerque Police to 38-year-old James Boyd. Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said Friday that the man had a long criminal past and a history of violence against officers. Police say for hours, they tried to lure him from the rock where he’d made a home, but they say he threatened them and had knives in his hands. Video shows the last moments of their confrontation.

A flash bang booms loudly. Then, an officer fires two blasts from a stun gun before two officers fire three rounds of ammunition each, according to APD Chief Eden. Boyd hits the ground before officers launch a bean bag and send in a K-9. It’s unclear what measure ultimately killed him, and will not be clear until the Office of the Medical Investigator released their results to police.

The 911 call reveals more layers to the case.

“I had to call, I think it was three weeks ago, 'cause they had a verbal altercation out there... And, I think the police just drove down the road, I don't think they actually visited the site... But they're still there,” the caller said.

An APD spokesperson says records show officers did respond to that call weeks ago, but didn’t find anyone. The Albuquerque Police Officers Association says they can’t comment on the case until the department finishes investigating, but they hope all who view the video keep an open mind.

“It's unfortunate that this man’s actions put these officers in that predicament because I can assure everybody in the community that was not the first thing that was on these officers minds,” Stephanie Lopez said.

Days after the standoff, the landscape is back to normal except for a homemade sign posted at the park entrance reading: “Sorry our system let you down.”

Chief Gorden Eden said he feels the shooting was justified. He cited a ruling about using force when officers feel they’re in danger. The two officers who fired three rounds each will stay on leave until the investigation is complete.

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