ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - Albuquerque police stressed Wednesday that the man shot and killed by an SWAT team sniper on Tuesday was packing serious heat.
APD Chief Ray Schultz said Michael Marquez, 31, was carrying a stolen AK-47 assault rifle and a 30-round magazine clip and determined to go out in a blaze of glory.
"During the negotiations Marquez said several times that he did not want to go back to prison and he said that he was going to go out with a bang or words similar to that," said Schultz.
Marquez, a known gang member, was wanted by police for three recent armed robberies.
APD said he had the gun inside a bag he was carrying and that his hand was on the trigger. Police say negotiators tried reasoning with Marquez, but it didn't work. The chief says detectives then heard Marquez loading the gun.
"He raises the rifle, and that's the time that the sniper makes the decision to deploy deadly force in the situation," explained Schultz.
The chief says Tasers or bean bag shot guns were not an option in this situation because Marquez was in an open field and officers had no cover close enough for those to work.
APD said had Marquez fired the AK-47 the consequences would have been deadly for bystanders and his officers.
"The round that was carried in the firearm by Marquez will go through a bullet-proof vest," Schultz said.
The rounds Marquez had were military grade. To show just how powerful these bullets are, the chief had some officers fire them at a car door. He showed off the door which was punctured by the bullets that went cleanly through. And that's not all.
"They put five bullet proof vests, one behind the another and these rounds penetrated through the door and through all of the vests," Schultz said.
He also revealed that the gun Marquez was carrying was stolen during a burglary in Farmington.
APD also released the name of the officer who fired the shot that killed Marquez. He's Jim Purdue, a 16-year APD veteran.
Tuesday's incident was the 20th shooting in 20 months involving APD officers. Fourteen of those shootings were fatal.
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