Suspect in Albuquerque police shootout found dead in jail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A California man accused of shooting at and injuring four Albuquerque police officers last year died in jail.

James Ramirez died while in custody, according to multiple departments. He was facing a federal charge after the state dropped its charges to ensure he stayed behind bars until trial.

Core Civic spokesperson Ryan Gustin stated Ramirez was found unresponsive around 4:55 p.m. Tuesday at the Cibola County Correctional Center near Grants. Staff immediately called out a medical emergency, prompting medical staff to respond and assist Ramirez. Medics began giving Ramirez emergency first aid and life-saving procedures. EMS responded to the facility but Ramirez died before being transported.

Ramirez’s time of death was around 5:40 p.m. Gustin also stated the U.S. Marshals Service was immediately notified after he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy was requested to determine Ramirez’s cause of death.

A Milan Police Department spokesperson says the department is conducting an investigation of the death.

Ramirez was accused of an armed robbery and police shooting last August in northeast Albuquerque. He was accused of opening fire on two APD officers in an alley – and critically injuring them – before engaging in a shootout at a nearby parking lot with two more APD officers who were also injured.

APD initially said Saturday that Ramirez was in a Valencia County prison. However, the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office said Ramirez died at the Cibola County Correctional Center.

KOB 4 has yet to hear back from an attorney representing Ramirez.

APD Chief Harold Medina sent a statement, saying:

"I wish I could say this news brings closure to the tragedy that this individual brought to Albuquerque last August. But the reality is he never faced any consequences for shooting four police officers."

The second suspect in the case has not been arrested.