Suspect in fatal police shooting held e-cigarette, NMSP says | KOB 4
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Suspect in fatal police shooting held e-cigarette, NMSP says

J.R. Oppenheim
January 04, 2018 08:22 PM

FARMINGTON, N.M. -- A Farmington police officer fatally shot a charging man thinking he was armed with a gun, but it turns out the object was an e-cigarette.

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The officer shot and killed 35-year-old Frankie Anchondo of Aztec on Dec. 20. NMSP officer Ray Wilson said the officer saw a woman screaming for help from a truck as it drove through an intersection.

The officer believed the woman could have been abducted and tried to pull the truck over, Wilson said, but the truck weaved through traffic to try to escape.

Wilson said the truck then turned onto an unlit road, shut its lights off and slowed down. The woman kept screaming and got out of the truck. Anchondo then approached the officer with a dark object in both hands, pointing it "as if it were a gun," Wilson said.

The officer, believing the suspect was armed, ordered Anchondo to stop and opened fire when he didn't. He fired five times in total, stopping Anchondo. Wilson said the officer feared he would be shot.

Anchondo died at the scene. The woman told police Anchondo threatened to kill her and yelled for help when she saw the officer's cruiser. The officer and the woman were not hurt.

Investigators later determined the object Anchondo held was an electronic cigarette, Wilson said.

The officer has worked for the Farmington Police Department for about six years. The investigation has moved to the 11th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

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J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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