APD releases video of fatal police shooting at Love’s truck stop

APD releases video of deadly police shooting at Love’s truck stop

The Albuquerque Police Department has released lapel video of their first officer-involved shooting of 2024. It happened in January at the Love's truck stop on 6th Street.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department has released lapel video of their first officer-involved shooting of 2024. It happened in January at the Love’s truck stop on 6th Street.

An APD officer shot and killed Joseph Baca while responding to reports of two attempted carjackings.

“I want to compliment the Real Time Crime Center for their work the night of this incident,” Chief Harold Medina said at a news conference. “Real Time Crime Center was able to give real time updates to officers who were on scene with the cameras that they had. Really advise the officers on what they had and give them good information that led to good tactics and good decision making.”

APD Commander Kyle Hartsock says it started when Baca and an unidentified man were hanging around the truck stop. The unidentified man leaves, and security guards at Love’s say Baca was upset.

“Joseph then went into the restroom and when he came out, the verbal altercation resumed with the security guard,” Hartsock said. “Joseph then began breaking out windows inside the truck stop and displayed a gun and put the barrel of the handgun to a female security guard’s head.”

After that, Baca is seen walking in the middle of the street with a gun in hand.

“A vehicle was driving up to turn into the truck stop and Joseph pointed his handgun at the vehicle, the vehicle stopped, in what appeared to be an attempted carjacking,” Hartsock said. “The vehicle was able to drive around Joseph and continue driving north on 6th Street. Parked a little bit up the road and called 911.”

Meanwhile, Baca continues to walk toward the intersection and walk toward a semi truck with the gun. That’s when security guards from the Love’s truck stop see him and run toward the street.

“In [the officer’s] interview he got out of his patrol unit and as he did, he almost instantly heard a gunshot,” Hartsock said. “We believe that gunshot he heard was that of a security guard firing.”

The officer gets out of his unit and starts yelling at Baca to drop his gun.

“[The officer] stated he saw Joseph emerge from the bridge, still armed, take a shooting stance and start to raise the gun up to himself and other officers,” Hartsock said. “That is when an officer-involved shooting occurred.”

Officers ran toward Baca and rendered aid. Baca was transported to UNMH, where he died.

Commander Hartsock said the investigation is still open. Police said once they were able to see the gun on scene, they noticed the magazine was not in the gun and it did not have any bullets in it. Officers found the magazine in Baca’s pocket.

Police also said he was not the original buyer of the gun and did not know how Baca obtained it.