Man accused of shooting at APD helicopter appears in court

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Ryan Kolpin is facing charges after allegedly shooting at an Albuquerque Police Department helicopter. He went before a judge Wednesday and is the latest to be accused of threatening officers in the sky.

APD say they were looking for a man firing a gun just south of the downs in southeast Albuquerque. They say after they found him after officers’ lives were threatened as the helicopter pilot had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid getting shot.

“Mr. Kolpin, I’m going to go ahead and let you know there is a motion for pre-trial detention filed in this matter.”

Police say Kolpin fired at APD’s air support when it was flying around an apartment just south of the downs after a call of shots fired. They say when police flew over the balcony where Kolpin was sitting, shots were fired. 

Police say the helicopter took evasive actions and the pilot turned off the navigation lights, so they would be harder to see.

The helicopter was not hit, but it’s not the first time officers in the sky have faced threats on the ground.

In 2022, a Bernalillo County helicopter that was fighting a fire had a run-in with a man camping in the bosque.

“He is pretending to shoot at us. Don’t see anything in his hands.”

He was arrested after a handshake.

Back in 2005, a Bernalillo County chopper was shot out of the air. At the time investigators said a rifle shot crippled the helicopter. Two deputies were injured.

On Monday, APD says they got Kolpin’s information from his landlord, and compared his MVD photo to a picture a police drone operator took of him outside while responding to the shots fired call.

Prosecutors want him held in jail. He’ll have a detention hearing soon.

“Thank you Mr. Kolpin, you are excused.”

Kolpin will have be in court within the next 10 days where prosecutors will argue he’s too dangerous to be released from jail.

The Arnold Tool recommends he be let out of jail.