ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The man behind last week's bullet-riddling attack on police wrote multiple letters to friends before he set out indicating he was ready to die.
And those friends of Christopher Chase told investigator over the last week he had a "long hatred" for law enforcement, Albuquerque Police Department interim chief Allen Banks said at a news conference Saturday.
That detail and other new information became public Saturday as Albuquerque Police Department interim Chief Allen Banks briefed the media on the continuing investigation.
Watch Chief Banks' news conference in its entirety »
- Full coverage of ambush, shootings and aftermath »
Separately on Saturday a sheriff's spokesman said Deputy Robin Hopkins is out of the ICU, faces more surgery and is expected to spend several more weeks in the hospital. She was shot twice by Chase and was the most seriously injured of the four officers wounded by Chase.
Hopkins was headed north on Fourth Street NW when he was shot in the upper leg near Schulte Road by Chase, who was headed south and only blocks away from his death at Fourth and Montaño Road.
Banks also revealed a wrong location in the 911 call that began the chaos led an Albuquerque police officer into an ambush a week ago making him the first of four victims of a heavily armed gunman out to kill cops.
The original 911 call placed gunman Christopher Chase near a car wash at Broadway Boulevard SW and Avenida Cesar Chavez when he actually was about eight blocks farther north at Broadway and Iron. Banks did not say why the caller gave the wrong location.
APD Officer Eric Martinez was driving south on Broadway toward the reported location when Chase began shooting at him, Banks said.
Martinez returned fire from behind his car and was grazed in the leg by a bullet as he changed locations because people at an outdoor gathering at the Salvation Army were in the line of fire.
Other officers arrived, took fire, sought cover and moved civilians out of the way. During that time Chase was able to take Martinez's patrol car and speed north up Broadway.
The pursuit wound through the North Valley and Los Ranchos before Chase crashed into a pillar at a gas station at Fourth Street NW and Montaño Road and died either by his own hand or from officers' gunfire about 30 minutes after the initial ambush.
Investigators may never know just how many rounds Chase fired at police during his last 30 minutes alive on Oct. 26, Banks added.
However many it was, it could have been a lot more. After the Chase through the city, los rancho and north valley ended, investigators count 357 unfired 7.76 mm rounds Chase had with him loaded in magazines of about 30 bullets and drums of 70.
During the news conference Banks displayed photos of the two large-caliber firearms Chase carried, both semi automatics. One was a pistol, the other a pistol-grip version of an assault weapon.
At Chases home on Walter street se police found a note taped to the front door with a name and phone number. Inside they found bogus booby traps, little significant evidence and more notes.
"We did note that there were empty ammo boxes inside the residence, and he had made notes out to his friends," Banks said. "We do believe that he felt this was going to be his last day, as he indicated to his friends and acquaintances."
Banks also said investigators did not find any letters addressed to police.
Among the new details Banks release are:
Chase was armed with a Romarm/Cugir Mini Draco, basically a pistol-gripped version of an AK-47-style rifle, and an Estava M57 pistol. They chamber 7.62 x 39mm and 7.62 x 25mm ammunition respectively.
APD Officer Matt Hannum was shot in the leg on Broadway between Coal and Lead, and Officer Dan Morales was shot in the leg farther north at Martin Luther King Boulevard. Both have since been released from the hospital. (Another officer was hit by a bullet fragment and slightly injured.)
A sergeant called off a chance to force Chase off Rio Grande Boulevard NW north of Griegos Road because an art festival was underway there.
An officer at Fourth Street NW and Solar heard a bullet whiz by his head as he tried to shoot out Chase's tires with a shotgun.
Sgt. Shawn Lockey, the first officer to reach Deputy Hopkins found her unconscious and immediately pulled her from her car and began CPR.
During the pursuit at least six officers fired at Chase or at the stolen police car trying to disable it.
Chase's precise motive remains unknown although friends said he had a long-standing hatred of law enforcement. (Police earlier said Chase had letters tattooed on his knuckles reading Cop Killa.") Medical investigators have not yet determined if officers killed him at the end of the pursuit or he killed himself.
"We don't known, and I don't think we'll ever know how many rounds Chase fired at officers," Banks said.
Banks cited the confusion of multiple crime scenes and making sure everything was under control for not releasing any public information on the public threat being over until nearly five hours after it ended. He also noted the news media track police activity on scanning radios. (KRQE News 13 policy prohibits broadcasting or publishing unconfirmed scanner reports.)
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