Grieving local family searches for answers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There are a lot of questions after recent police shootings, many of them come from grieving families. 

Last weekend, Albuquerque officers in the Foothills shot and killed a 21-year-old man, but the reason they were there in the first place was because of a crash. 

“I want answers. I want answers,” said Guadalupe Sanchez, father of Julian Sanchez.

“I said ‘where’s my son?’ that’s all I asked ‘where’s my son?’ And they told me ‘ma’am he’s deceased, and he died at the scene,'” said Melissa Martinez, mother of Julian Sanchez. 

Officers originally responded to a car that crashed in the median on Tramway Saturday night.

“There possibly was a firearm on scene and shots were fired. At this time the subject did die on scene,” said APD Chief Harold Medina.

Julian Sanchez was a brother, son and uncle. Loved ones say there wasn’t an ounce of evil in him.

“It’s a mother’s worst nightmare because I’m supposed to go before my son, not him,” said Melissa. 

“I miss you mijo, I miss you, I love you, I wish I could hug you one more time,” said Guadalupe.

They hope his case is the one to change the tide.

“We’re gonna get justice mijo I promise, I promise,” Guadalupe said. 

Julian’s family shared their story just hours before APD released an update on shootings by officers. 

Chief Medina specifically shared statistics over the past five years and says they usually stem from officers pursuing a suspect, someone suffering a mental health episode, or people making bad decisions because of drugs or alcohol.

“We know there’s a grieving family left behind but so many times it’s hard for them to comprehend why did our loved one do this? And I just want them to remember that maybe their loved one wasn’t under the right frame of mind,” Medina said.

APD also included stats about officer discipline following these shootings, ranging from termination, down to additional training.

Six officers had to go through additional training, and two have been fired since 2018.