APD chief requests independent review after SWAT standoff ends in house fire, death of teen

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina has asked New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to conduct an independent review of the department’s handling of a SWAT standoff in southeast Albuquerque.

The standoff ended in a house fire that led to the tragic death of 15-year-old Brett Rosenau.

Chief Medina is also requesting an analysis of the deployment of “flameless grenades” used during the standoff and if they malfunctioned.

“An arson investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire,” Medina said in the letter to the attorney general. “However, we believe a device used by tactical officers may have ignited the fire.”

The letter can be viewed here.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue investigators are looking into the cause of the fire. There is also a multi-agency task force conducting a criminal investigation, and the results will be forwarded to the district attorney for review.

“The tragic loss of a loving son and brother for one family, and the loss of a home for another is causing them and our community unimaginable pain,” said Albuquerque Mayor Keller. “For our community and department to move forward, a thorough and independent assessment into what happened and what can be done to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again is imperative.”