ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It took four police agencies, spike strips and shots from a deputy's gun to bring an APS school bus heading eastbound toward the heart of Albuquerque to a screeching halt.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston says 27-year-old Nathanial Shipman was the driver of that stolen school bus and tried to ram police cars several times during a wild chase from Grants to Albuquerque.
Police say Shipman first tried to steal a bus from the Herrera Bus Company's lot on far west Central Avenue in Albuquerque last night. After crashing the bus through a fence and into a ditch, Shipman hopped in another one and drove off the lot. A source with the company says the keys were in the ignition of both buses.
The next morning at around 5:35 a.m., Grants police got a call about an APS bus driver showing strange behavior.
A sergeant for Grants police tells News 13 an officer tried to pull the bus over, but the driver would not stop. When another officer approached the bus' door, police say Shipman backed the bus into a police unit and took off. Officers shot at the bus but couldn't stop it before it got onto I-40 heading eastbound towards Albuquerque.
Police set spike strips along the freeway and caught the bus' tires three times with those spikes, but it kept rolling on rims and hit or tried to hit several police cars.
Sheriff Houston says his department was trying to get a large caliber weapon to the freeway to shoot out the school bus' engine block before it got further into the city.
Then State police executed what's known as a "pit maneuver" to spin the bus out towards the center of I-40, disabling it about a half mile before the Rio Grande Boulevard exit.
State police and Bernalillo Co. deputies approached the bus. Police say Shipman was still trying to restart the bus and was reaching for something when a deputy opened fire.
Shipman was hit at least twice by the deputy and was shot three times in total by police. Shipman was rushed to UNM Hospital for surgery and Sheriff Houston says he is expected to recover.
"I can't express how blessed we are as a community that we don't have a lot of collateral damage out there from what happened," said Houston.
Shipman has a long criminal history including convictions for domestic violence, cocaine possession and assaulting a police officer. His most recent crime was in February when he pled guilty to burglary charges for robbing a NE Albuquerque Wal-Mart.
News 13 found Sonja Montoya, Shipman's mother, at home Friday morning and she hadn't been told of the news yet. She says her son started changing when he lost his job.
"He used to have a heart of gold, we used to call him the gentle giant," said Montoya. "I'm upset for what he put the officers through. That's not the way he was raised."
Montoya says she had not seen her son since his recent burglary arrest and hadn't talked to him since he was last released from police custody.
Police say they still don't know why Shipman stole the bus, why he took it to Grants or whether he was drunk or high during the incident.
The deputy who shot Shipman is on paid leave pending the investigation per department policy.
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