An inside look at an APD pursuit

Updated: 04/23/2014 7:26 AM | Created: 04/22/2014 10:12 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It was a situation that could have turned deadly, but APD officers worked to make sure that didn't happen.

Dozens of officers were involved in a car chase through Albuquerque on Monday night, and the way it began had a lot to do with the way it ended.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer approached Mario Romero in a parking lot near a vigil held for 19-year-old Mary Hawkes, a woman killed in a police shooting that morning.

The officer said Romero was upset about Hawkes' death and said he was her fiancé. He brought what he claimed to be fake guns to the vigil and told the officer he wanted to end his life to be with Hawkes.

Police began pursuing Romero after the officer radioed in the incident, warning that he could be threat to himself or other citizens.

"His fiancée just passed away, and he's quite distraught over that," an officer said over the police scanner.

Police officials said Romero pointed at least one gun at himself and at cops—saying he wanted to be shot.

Police used the PIT maneuver to disable the stolen SUV that Romero was driving, but then backed off. 

"Based on the first response we got from the PIT, he jumped out of the vehicle and started waving a gun around—pointing it toward officers, pointing it toward himself... We are not going to choose to engage in a second pit," an officer said over the scanner.

APD cleared surrounding roads and let Romero continue, laying several spike strips to take out his tires.

"Be advised there are civilians out, there are civilians out," an officer said.

After an hour, without tires, Romero came to a stop and tried to run, but it ended the best way it could have.

"K-9 apprehension—one in custody," an officer said.

The first officer who approached Romero comforted him as he grieved for Hawkes. It very well could have been that moment that set the tone for the entire night.

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