ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After one man’s shooting rampage left three officers and one deputy injured, Albuquerque Police have released many new details about incident and the shooter, who according to police, had a tattoo reading “cop killer.”
In a joint press conference Sunday afternoon, Albuquerque Police and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the suspect, 35-year old Christopher Chase was firing off an assault rifle in several busy areas of the city and targeting officers.
Police say Chase started the incident at an intersection in southeast Albuquerque.
“Witnesses stated that this gentlemen told them to call the police and that he would be waiting for them,” said Chief Allen Banks of the Albuquerque Police Department.
APD says Chase was waiting at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Avenida Cesar Chavez, then ambushed the first officers arriving on the scene.
“Chase began shooting as our first officer responds to scene,” said Chief Banks.
Police say another officer arrived at the scene shortly after and both took cover outside of their cars. That's when police say Chase made a move.
“Chase then gets into a police vehicle and begins driving north on Broadway,” Chief Banks said.
The beginning of the shooting spree was caught on a cell phone camera. A witness, Steve Yarbrough was at a Salvation Army outreach event near Broadway and Iron when he saw Chase behind the wheel, firing shots out of the window.
“He’s got an A-K man you see that?!” exclaimed one witness in the video. Several gunshots could be heard shortly after.
Police say Chase headed north on Broadway Avenue, firing at officers at several intersections leaving crime scene after crime scene along the way.
“He fires from the vehicle at officers that were on Coal and Broadway,” Chief Banks said. “Central and Broadway, Martin Luther King and Broadway.”
Police say Chase then went west on Griegos Road, north on Rio Grande Boulevard, east on Ranchitos Road, and then finally south of 4th Street NW.
“As he's traveling southbound he fires at deputies at 4th and Schulte,” Chief Banks said.
Sources tell KRQE News 13 that sheriff’s deputy Robin Hopkins was hit with a bullet there. Witnesses also provided cell phone video of the deputy being loaded in the car.
Police say Chase kept going until he hit traffic at 4th Street and Montano Road.
“He encounters traffic at the intersection of 4th and Montano, he veers into the (Phillips) Route 66 gas station where he crashed into a pillar at one of the gas pumps,” said Chief Banks.
That’s where police Chase crashed the police car he stole into a pillar and was killed.
The aftermath left one BCSO deputy and three APD officers injured. While the injuries have taken their toll on both departments and their families, both Chief Banks and Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston expressed some relief Sunday that no one additional lives were lost.
“I'll tell you, we had so true heroes yesterday that probably prevented this tragedy to be worse than it actually was yesterday,” Chief Banks said.
“I think it could have been a lot more horrific if it hadn't have been for the courageous men and women of both our departments. I am proud today to be a law enforcement officer,” Sheriff Dan Houston said.
Police say they're still investigating the exact locations of where each officer was shot along the four mile chase.
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