APD releases details on 3 recent police shootings
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina says his officers are running into the same situation over and over again. Suspects are running from police and pulling guns out during the pursuit.
Below are three examples of that – and each pursuit ended with officers opening fire. Two suspects were killed by police.
Nov. 21 – 2801 Vail Avenue SE
APD officers were dispatched around 11:40 a.m. to reports of a man who was waving a black handgun and pointing it at residents of the Eagle Nest Condos.
Officers arrived at the apartment complex and found a man matching the description of the suspect on the south corner of the complex, which is near Girard and Gibson. The man was later identified as Pablo Pacheco, 35.
As officers approached the man in the parking lot, they saw him rummaging through a black duffel bag and a blue and white backpack. He grabbed the bags and ran from the officers, dropping the bags as he ran.
The suspect ran south through the lot, turned west and ran on Vail Ave into a neighborhood. Two officers chased the suspect in the street and two others ran parallel on the other side of the fence separating the street from the apartment complex.
As he fled north and west from the apartments, officers saw the suspect produce a black handgun from his pants pocket. Officer Zachary Earles was closest to Pacheco and he yelled that Pacheco had a gun. As Pacheco approached the corner of the home at 2801 Vail Ave., Officer Earles fired his rifle, striking Pacheco. He was transported to a hospital and treated for gunshot wounds. The handgun Pacheco had in his possession was recovered at the scene. No officers were injured during the shooting.
In an interview with detectives, Officer Earles said he noticed Pacheco slow from a sprint as he approached the corner of the home and he feared Pacheco was going to attempt to turn and shoot him. Earles said he saw Pacheco’s arm go back and he thought Pacheco was going to pull the gun up and shoot.
In addition to charges he faced for previous crimes, detectives are also adding new charges against Pacheco, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Nov. 25 – 3613 NM 528 NW
APD officers and detectives were in northwest Albuquerque as part of the Sticky Fingers retail crime operation. Officers were contacted by a loss prevention employee at the Kohl’s department store.
The employee told officers that a man and a woman were in the process of shoplifting more than $1,000 worth of merchandise, which is a felony amount. Officers contacted the two people as they attempted to leave the store with a basket full of merchandise through an emergency exit.
The woman, later identified as Monica Montoya, was detained and placed in handcuffs. The man, later identified as Pete Martinez, fled on foot from officers while armed with a handgun.
Officers challenged Martinez again as he ran across the parking lot of the Barnes & Noble bookstore. An officer saw Martinez produce a handgun.
Martinez then ran into the Cold Stone Creamery, which had several customers and employees inside. As officers started clearing customers to get them to safety, additional officers saw Martinez exit the back of the business removing some clothing, and run north across NM 528 toward businesses.
Martinez eventually slowed to a walk and stopped in front of Chrome Aesthetics.
Officers gave several commands for him to drop his gun. Officers worked to de-escalate the encounter by telling Martinez they wanted to slow things down and talk. Martinez squatted down and pointed the handgun at his own head.
Officers said they wanted to end things peacefully but they needed him to put the gun down. After talking for a few minutes and trying to convince Martinez to put the gun down, Martinez stood up, and eventually lowered the gun to his side, saying, “Maybe, I should kill myself.” Officers said they didn’t want him to do that.
Martinez was moving his hands and feeling the pockets of his hands as he switched the gun from his right hand to his left hand.
Officers discussed using a less-lethal weapon, a 40mm launcher, because Martinez would not put the gun down and follow commands. A sergeant with a 40mm launcher yelled for Martinez to put the gun down, and then he fired the less-lethal launcher, which struck Martinez in the chest.
Another officer, Detective Angelo Lovato, was nearby with a rifle and fired within a second of the 40mm round. Detective Lovato announced to other officers that he saw Martinez raising the handgun.
Martinez was struck by the bullet, leaned forward and fell to the ground. Officers attempted to provide aid to Martinez, but he died as a result of his wounds.
Detective Lovato later told investigators that he heard the sergeant and recognized his voice as he announced he was going to fire a 40mm round. Detective Lovato said he saw Martinez’s handgun start to come up in the direction of another officer who was to the northeast of Martinez. Detective Lovato said he thought Martinez was going to shoot the officer.
Detectives later interviewed Martinez’s partner, Monica Montoya, who said Martinez was her boyfriend. She said Martinez had told her recently that he would not go back to jail and that he would either kill himself or get officers to kill him if confronted by police.
Montoya was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on charges of shoplifting and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The handgun Martinez had in his possession was recovered at the scene.
No officers were injured during the shooting.
Dec. 8 – 4057 Montgomery Boulevard NE
APD detectives identified Mark Carlson, 32, as a suspect in recent armed robberies. He had a warrant for a probation violation related to an armed robbery conviction. Detectives with APD tracked Carlson, utilizing a tracking device on his vehicle, to an apartment located at 4057 Montgomery Boulevard NE.
Carlson was in the apartment for about 20 minutes before detectives started giving commands for him to exit. A detective noticed children in a nearby playground and directed them to leave the area.
Shortly after that, detectives saw Carlson jump from a second-story window and flee on foot, through the playground and to the west side of the apartment complex.
Detectives pursued Carlson, who was armed with a handgun, through a parking lot. During the foot pursuit, detectives fired three less-lethal, 40mm rounds at Carlos to try to stop him from running. However, he continued to run.
Carlson rounded a structure and headed north, still armed with a handgun. As officers rounded the same structure, Carlson turned his torso with the handgun pointed at officers. Multiple officers fired their weapons, striking Carlson.
Carlson was transported to a hospital, where he died as a result of his injuries.
The handgun Colson had in his possession was recovered at the scene.
No officers were injured during the shooting.