ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An armed man who led police on a foot chase into a busy commercial area was shot and killed in a confrontation with Albuquerque officers Tuesday night.
No other injuries were reported as police locked down a hotel and restaurant, closed Menaul Boulevard NE and set up a perimeter that involved patrol officers and the Albuquerque Police Department SWAT team.
At a late-night news conference APD Chief Ray Schultz gave this account of events that began around 6:30 p.m. at the Music-Go-Round store in the 7100 block of Menaul:
A woman came into Music Go-Round and attempted to return a banjo and guitar that store staff recognized as having been stolen earlier in the day. Responding officers took the woman into custody, but two men with her took off, one in a pickup truck and the other on foot.
During the foot chase, the man pointed a pistol at the pursing officer and kept running as the officer briefly backed off. The chase continued to near the Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown Hotel and Chili's Bar and Grill on the north side of Menaul at Louisiana Boulevard.
The man again pointed his pistol at officers who held their fire because of the numerous people in the area. As the man found a hiding place, officers swarmed the area setting up their perimeter, closing streets and securing the businesses.
"Multiple commands given to him by the sergeant by the tactical team to stop and drop the weapon," said Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz in a late night news conference. "He completely disregarded that and created a very dangerous situation."
The man emerged from hiding and again refused commands to drop his weapon. When he raised the pistol at officers, three of them fired mortally wounding the man.
It was around 8:30 p.m. that a KRQE News 13 crew on the scene reported hearing a flash-bang grenade and then gunshots before seeing the suspect being loaded into an ambulance.
The officers are on standard leave as the incident is investigated.
Throughout the night, Menaul remained closed from Louisiana east to Española Street. It was later reopened around 5:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Schultz said the woman taken into custody at the music store is not cooperating with investigators. Police are still looking for the third suspect who fled in the pickup truck.
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