AFR: Canister thrown by deputy caused deadly house fire

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On Friday, the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue gave a briefing on what happened during a SWAT standoff in July that ended with a house fire and the death of 15-year-old Brett Rosenau.

In July, police confirmed that Rosenau had died from smoke inhalation, prompting calls for an independent investigation into the standoff.

Key takeaways from Friday’s briefing:

  • The canister thrown into the house by a BCSO deputy started the fire – AFR ruled out all other possibilities. The canister – designed to put out a chemical irritant – ignited a mattress, killing Rosenau from smoke inhalation.
  • Police said Rosenau would have gone to jail for shooting a man in the neck less than a week before the fire. According to APD, he would’ve been charged had he survived.
  • APD is not making any judgements on failures or successes as it’s still under review. The attorney general is among the agencies investigating APD’s SWAT response.
  • Police were looking for Qiaunt Kelley, who only had a parole violation warrant at the time, but has since been charged with murder.