ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - As the scene unfolded Saturday, hundreds of people took cover from a barrage of gunfire in what is being called an ambush of Albuquerque police officers.
A large section of Broadway Boulevard Southeast is where witnesses described a terrifying scene, where a suspect in a stolen cop car shot multiple rounds at officers near a very large crowd.
"Everybody was frightened they were crying, they were scared," one witness told KRQE News 13. "There were a lot of kids running around," said another witness.
An event organizer said roughly 300 people were attending a cookout hosted by the Salvation Army in a city-wide homeless-outreach event. The large crowd hit the ground, hid behind tables and ducked behind buildings after gunfire erupted about 11:30 a.m.
"I heard a shot, and I thought it was a firework," said Enrique Nuñez, an 8-year-old witness. "But then everybody was running. Then I ran, and my grandma fell on the floor."
Nuñez was just one of many children in the area who, along with others, all ran for their lives as multiple gunshots were fired by a man witnesses said was in a cop car.
"You could tell a cop wasn't in the car," recalled musician Freddie Montoya, who was in the middle of a performance when bullets began flying. "It was somebody else, and that's when I seen his gun come out, and he just started shooting boom-boom-boom, slowed down, shot about three more times, boom-boom-boom."
Witnesses said as the shootout moved further north on Broadway, they took cover.
"We started laying speakers down, started laying tables down, putting kids behind us," said Montoya.
Families ducked behind anything they could, with one thought in mind: "That I wanted to stay alive and that everybody else around me would stay alive and be OK," said Demetrius Victorio.
"It was chaos at its best," added Ronda Adams. "There was no time to think; there was barely time to run. It was just chaotic, chaotic, chaotic."
Terrified people said they tried to get children toward the back of the crowd until the gunshots stopped.
"Thank God it wasn't a blood bath because there was a lot of people there, a lot of people, and it could have been 10 times worse, catastrophic," Adams added.
Witnesses said police held the crowd on lockdown for about an hour before allowing anyone to leave the scene on Broadway. The section of Broadway Boulevard south of Iron and north toward Lead Avenue was closed for most of the day Saturday as investigators continued to gather evidence.
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