Graphic lapel camera video released of APD shooting that left man likely brain-dead, 10 officers on leave
June 12, 2019 05:53 PM
After 11 months, the Albuquerque Police Department released lapel video and reports from an officer-involved shooting in southwest Albuquerque last May that put 10 APD officers on administrative leave and left the suspect who was shot likely brain-dead.
On May 28, 2015, APD officers tried to pull over Rodrigo Garcia, who was then 20 years old and allegedly driving a stolen car, near 62nd Street and Trujillo SW.
Garcia had been sought since the night before, when he allegedly rammed a patrol car in the same stolen vehicle he was eventually shot inside of. He also had active warrants for arrests for crimes he committed earlier in the year.
On the day of the shooting, an officer spotted Garcia in the same stolen vehicle and tried to pull him over. Lapel camera footage released Friday shows him and the woman get out of the vehicle, a white Chevrolet Tahoe. The woman flees into a nearby house.
Garcia then gets back into the Tahoe and drives over a fence. He had been blocked in by the undercover officer who initially tried to pull him over. Police have said he was trying to hit officers as he drove through the fence.
He allegedly hit three patrol cars before the officers opened fire on the vehicle.
Several officers are seen on lapel cameras shooting the vehicle as it drives away. The shooting stops for a moment, but Garcia can subsequently be seen reversing toward the officers.
At that point, multiple officers open fire on the SUV again, after which it stops moving.
A SWAT team and other officers then set up behind the SUV with their guns drawn. They tried for several minutes to get him to show his hands through PA commands, but eventually used a SWAT vehicle and tactical team to approach the car and get him out.
Garcia is seen with blood covering much of his body. He is dragged from the Tahoe and frisked by officers before being taken away to the hospital.
The woman who ran into the house was detained for questioning, along with several other people in the house she ran into. At least two people from the house were arrested on outstanding warrants.
In supplemental police reports also obtained through a public records request, forensics experts discovered 82 slugs or fragments in the SUV.
A report from an officer who gathered evidence from Garcia at the hospital noted multiple serious injuries to Garcia: a gunshot to the left side of his head, a swollen right eye, an apparent gunshot to his left shoulder, an apparent gunshot to his right leg and scrapes on his ankle. There were also wounds to his hands and possibly additional wounds to his head and chest, but the officer wrote he could not see the injuries because Garcia was covered in blood.
A UNMH doctor told the officer that if Garcia survived surgery, he would have a "questionable quality of life."
Friday, APD spokeswoman Celina Espinoza said Garcia still remains hospitalized in critical condition. She said he appears to be brain-dead and that the department has not forwarded any charges against him to the District Attorney's Office.
Espinoza also said none of the other people detained from the home face any charges related to the incident.
She added that the 10 officers who were placed on leave have since undergone firearm re-certification and use-of-force training and have been removed from leave.
Updated: June 12, 2019 05:53 PM
Created: April 22, 2016 05:07 PM
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