ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz told reporters at a news conference Monday afternoon not one, but two officers fired their weapons during the department's second officer involved shooting of the year.
The Chief identified the officers as Jeff Bludworth, a rookie and Officer Katherine Wright who has been at APD since 2009.
Based on witness statements Chief Schultz said it appears Vincent Wood, a Vietnam Veteran suffering from mental illness, left the officers no choice but to fire.
"As he comes around the rear of the police car he then turn the knives slightly forward and he quickly locks in on the officer and starts to approach him in a very quick manner," Schultz said.
The incident unfolded in just minutes.
Chief Schultz said it started with a 911 call from a security guard at the Montgomery Crossing Shopping Center on San Mateo new McLeod, he played part of that call for reporters.
"There's a man at the bus stop with two big ol' butcher knives and he's wacked out of his mind," the security guard said adding, "he already knows not to come on this property, he's extremely dangerous."
The security guard told the 911 dispatcher two teens ages 15 and 16 approached him after they said Wood threatened them at a bus stop behind Hooter's.
Officers arrived within three minutes of that call and Schultz said it was Officer Bludworth who spotted Wood first trying to walk into the Circle K.
Schultz said at first Wood did not have anything in his hands but as Officer Bludworth called for him to come toward him and away from the convenience store doors, he reached into a bag he was carrying.
"He pulls two large knives out of the bag both in one hand, he then transfers one of the knives into his other hand," said Schultz.
That's when the chief said Wood started lunging at Bludworth, refusing the officers commands to drop the weapons.
At about that time Officer Wright arrived and Schultz said it appeared she fired her weapon first, then Bludworth also fired, between the two officers nine rounds were fired.
"Mr. Wood was actively, aggressively closing distance with a deadly weapon to the officer, the officer obviously had to protect himself but in this particular case, Officer Wright could see the active threat and she made that first intervention to protect her fellow officer," Chief Schultz said.
The Chief said both officers had their lapel cameras on and that there is video and clear audio from the shooting but he declined to show it Monday, saying it will not be released until all of the interviews are finished.
KRQE News 13 asked if The chief knew what kind of interaction took place between the two teens and Wood, he said they are still investigating that.
He also brought up Wood's criminal history saying he had been arrested at least 14 times and had been transported for mental health issues six times.
The last contact APD had with Wood was last month when they were called to a hotel room he had barricaded himself in, but because he was not committing a crime, he was not arrested and officers left.
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