ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The Albuquerque Police Department says one of its officers is recovering Monday after a shooting sent an officer to the hospital for emergency surgery.
APD says it is not releasing the officer's name because suspects are still on the loose after what turned out to be a very busy St. Patrick's day and night for officers.
Residents in this southeast Albuquerque neighborhood are still trying to put together the details of what happened at Ross and Ortiz near San Mateo Sunday night.
"I thought they were firecrackers, kids playing with some fireworks," says Sammy Baca, a resident in the area.
He says the sound woke him up. But they weren't fireworks, they were gunshots.
"It was about 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock in the morning. We were watching a movie. We looked outside and there was a bunch of cops. There was a crime lab and everything," says neighbor Nicole Nashboo.
APD says officers were in the area around 10:30 p.m. Sunday responding to a couple incidents when the gunshots went off from a block away near Madeira Drive, sending bullets straight toward police.
One pierced through an officer's lower back into his pelvic area, dangerously close to his spine.
He complained of numbness in his legs and immediately went to UNM Hospital for emergency surgery to remove the bullet.
Police say he is doing well, but he will need physical therapy as he continues his recovery.
APD had the crime scene blocked off until Monday morning, collecting evidence including three shell casings, according to Chief Ray Schultz.
One neighbor says he slept through all the commotion Sunday night, but he wasn't surprised to hear the news in the morning, saying it is a dangerous neighborhood.
"I just moved out here because it is closer to work but it's just time to move out of here. I have two little kids I have to take care of too, so it is not good for them over here," says Randy Cebada.
Police say the injured officer has been with APD for a little more than a year.
They say he is in good spirits at the hospital with his mother and his fiancée.
Police still have not determined why shots were fired and have only said they are looking for two men who were seen in the area.
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