ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A fatal drama played out quickly in northeast Albuquerque Friday night after police responded to a report of a man armed with butcher knives threatening two kids near a movie theater.
Albuquerque police were dispatched to the restaurant and entertainment district on San Mateo Boulevard NE north of Montgomery after a security guard called 911 saying two teens were approached by an older black man armed with two 10-inch butcher knives.
"As the call was being dispatched one of the officers, based on the description of the black male, thought she knew who he was and that he was a male she had dealt with prior who was suffering from mental health issues," APD Chief Ray Schultz said during an impromptu news conference outside the crime-scene tape late Friday night.
The call came in at 7:39 p.m., and Schultz said shots were fired at 7:43 p.m.
In those four minutes officers arrived at the north side of the mall at Montgomery and San Mateo boulevards, talked to the security guard and found out the suspect was gone.
By then he'd moved north to the Circle K store on the northwest corner of San Mateo and McLeod Road. The first officer to arrive there met the suspect face-to-face.
"We have witnesses who state that the male subject lunged at the officer, and the officer began to retreat from the man," Schultz said. "The man continued to advance to the officer, lunging at him with the knife.
"When the second officer arrived on scene as the suspect continued to aggressively go to the officer, that second officer, a female officer, discharged her firearm multiple times."
A third officer, part of the APD Crisis Intervention Team, arrived just as the shots were fired.
The man was taken to UNM Hospital where he later died. At last report investigators were still trying to confirm his identity.
It was a busy Friday night at the many businesses along San Mateo, and the chief said there are numerous witnesses who saw or heard the shooting go down.
Employees at Putt Putt Golf and Games across San Mateo from the shooting told KRQE News 13 they heard three or four shots.
Now the witnesses investigators really need to talk to are the two teenagers who were initially accosted by the man. Police said they may have been headed to a movie at the Cinemark theater adjacent to the mall.
Those boys are asked to call 242-COPS (242-2677) so they can be interviewed about this case. Police also want to here from anyone else who witnessed the incident.
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