Sgt. Joe Harris of the Sandoval County Sheriff's Department was…
Updated: Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 4:36 PM MDT
Published : Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 3:07 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico State Police said Thursday that "Cookie Bandit" Joseph Henry Burgess was able to get a revolver from the small of his back after he had been handcuffed. He then fired the shot that killed Sandoval County sheriff's deputy Sgt. Joe Harris.
In a news release Thursday, state police said Harris had fired the shot that killed Burgess after he had been wounded from Burgess's shot last Thursday in a cabin in the Jemez Springs area.
State police agents interviewed Deputy Theresa Moriarty, Harris's partner, and said she was able to help them piece together the facts and evidence. Moriarty and Harris had been staking out the cabin to try to catch Burgess, who at the time was known only as the Cookie Bandit.
According to the news release, Moriarty told them Burgess came in through a window. The deputies confronted him, identifying themselves as police officers, she said.
Burgess than attacked the two officers, who were able to handcuff him after a short scuffle, according to the news release.
Burgess became aggressive again and attempted to fight with Harris, the news release says, and Burgess was able to retrieve a .357 revolver and fire the fatal shot.
Burgess then fired at Moriarty, but Harris was able to fire a shot to kill Burgess.
State police said Burgess' gun belongs to David Eley, who was reported missing in the Jemez Mountains in 2007. Police are investigating whether Burgess had anything to do with Eley's disappearance.
Police are sending the weapons to a New Mexico Department of Public Safety forensic laboratory in Santa Fe for further analysis.
Burgess, whose name was not known until after the incident, was wanted for breaking into cabins in the Jemez Mountains.
For many years, residents had said he would simply get what he needed and leave, but in recent months began causing more and more damage.
In one cabin, the damage reached $2,000, and another cabin had $1,000 worth of damage.
Meanwhile, deputies aren't sure if Burgess was connected to a December incident when a reserve Sandoval County deputy was shot at while in the area. The deputy didn't see anybody out there that day and hadn't heard movement before the shot, so it could have been a stray bullet from someone hunting in the area.
The bullet in the December incident was never found, so it would be impossible to find out whether Burgess was connected.
When Burgess was identified, police linked him to a double murder on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in June 1972. Two campers were shot and killed while they slept, and Canadian authorities believe it was Burgess who pulled the trigger.
He had reportedly shot the two because they were sleeping together but were not married.