APD releases lapel video of shootout that injured 4 officers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department released body camera video showing the chaotic moments four officers were hurt during a shootout with a robbery suspect in August.
Warning: The lapel video is graphic. To watch, click on the video above.
APD released the following timeline of events:
8 a.m. Armed robbery occurs in the area of Central Ave. and Western Skies Dr. S.E. as the victim exits a city bus and walks to his mother’s apartment nearby.
8:40 a.m. Robbery victim calls 911 after he and a friend locate the suspects walking along Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E. The caller states he was robbed about 25 minutes earlier at gunpoint.
8:41 a.m. Officer Mario Verbeck with the Foothills Area Command is dispatched to make contact with the victim.
8:45 a.m. Officer Verbeck arrives in the area and eventually meets with the victim in the parking lot of the NAPA Auto Parts, located at 1201 Juan Tabo Blvd N.E.
8:58 a.m. Robbery victim provides a description to Officer Verbeck of the two suspects who robbed him at gunpoint. The description is relayed to other responding officers.
9:16 a.m. Officer Verbeck reports that he spots two suspects matching the description of the robbery suspects in the area of Summer Ave. and Juan Tabo Blvd. They walk by businesses on Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E.
9:17 a.m. Officer Verbeck reports the suspects begin to walk southbound in the alley behind the businesses. He confirms they match the description of the armed offenders.
9:18 a.m. Officer James Eichel arrives in his vehicle as the suspects flee on foot down the narrow alley. One suspect continues to run southbound in the alley, while the other suspect stops and ambushes oncoming officers from a partially covered elevation drop. This allows the suspect to be in an advantageous position to fire upon approaching officers with little warning. As officers Verbeck and Eichel approach, an exchange of gunfire erupts between one of the suspect and both officers. Officers Eichel and Verbeck are both struck by gunfire, but they are able to return fire until the suspect eventually flees southbound. Both officers are critically injured. Investigators later recover 32 bullet casings that were fired from the gun the suspect was using.
9:19 a.m. The shooter flees southbound in the alley and into the parking lots behind Federico’s Restaurant and the Dutch Bros Coffee at 1105 Juan Tabo Blvd. N.E. Officers Harry Gunderson and Sgt. Sean Kenny confront the suspect in that parking lot and order him to surrender. An exchange of gunfire ensues, lasting several minutes.
The suspect eventually stops shooting after being shot several times. Officer Gunderson is struck by glass and shrapnel during the shooting, and Sgt. Kenny later learned he was struck with a bullet in his bullet-proof vest. Despite their injuries, Sgt. Kenny and other officers perform life-saving measures on the suspect.
Investigators later recover 37 bullet casings in the parking lot that were fired by the suspect, as well as one casing fired between the alley and the parking lot. In total, the suspect fired 70 rounds at officers.
As for the suspect, James Ramirez from California, he has recovered from the shooting and is now facing federal charges. The second robbery suspect – seen in the surveillance video – managed to escape. Police are still searching for him.