Video: 6 BCSO deputies open fire on suspect
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office leaders are addressing what led to their deputies shooting and killing an unarmed man in the South Valley last month.
“We’re trying our best to implement some tactics – to stop that before it happens,” said Nicholas Huffmyer, the BCSO deputy chief.
At least four BCSO deputies responded to a passed-out driver at a gas station in late September.
“Once these people are coming out of this state of rest – I’ll call it that, they’re passed out – is that they’re unpredictable,” said BCSO Sheriff Manny Gonzales.
Deputies surrounded the car and knocked on the window. The driver, who they later identified as 45-year-old Colby Atkins, took off. A chase began, heading west on Rio Bravo. Video shows Atkins blowing through a red light, turning south of Isleta, and then nearly flipping his car when he hits someone’s Jeep.
He hits another car before coming to a stop. Two nearby APS schools shelter-in-place.
Deputies said the car Atkins was driving was stolen. There was a veteran plate and Marines’ decal on the car – both were not on the vehicle when it was stolen. Officials speculated that was an effort to evade law enforcement.
Deputies shot bean bags through the heavily-tinted windows to try and see inside, but the windows held.
Next, Atkins gets out of the car.
“Then he comes up, with both hands in a very clear shooting platform,” Huffmyer said.
Dash camera video shows Atkins appear to aim something at a van, and then shots ring out.
Six deputies opened fire on Atkins, killing him. After the gun smoke cleared, deputies only found a black flashlight near Atkins.
All of those deputies are back on the job, and the investigation continues.
“Our mandate, just from a protection standpoint, fire and foremost, is to protect the innocent public,” Huffmyer said.
A toxicology report on Atkins is still pending. Atkins had a criminal history, he was recently released from federal prison in 2020 for a bank robbery.
Note: The video released by BCSO was edited by the agency. They said it shows the most pertinent parts of the shooting. KOB 4 has requested the full video.