ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police has released new video showing the moments that lead up to two different fatal shooting cases in November. The department says in both of the situations, the suspects who were killed were thought to be having mental health crises.
The news conference comes just a day after APD announced several policy changes aimed at reducing the number of police shooting cases. In 2022, APD officers have shot 18 people. 10 of those shootings have been fatal.
APD’s 18 shooting cases in 2022 marks a record for the department. Between 2018 and 2021, the department saw either 8, 9 or 10 shooting cases in each calendar year.
The first of two shooting cases discusses Friday happened the day after Thanksgiving. On November 25, officers responded to a 911 call for a domestic disturbance at a home on Odessa Court SW, near 98th and Gibson. Shortly after three officers arrived around 3:30 p.m., officers shot and killed 30-year old Blaine Denetdele.
In a 20 minute 911 call preceding the shooting, Denetdele’s father first described his adult son as having been drinking earlier in the day and “out of control.” Minutes later, Denetdele’s mother told dispatchers her son had a knife and charged at her husband, Denetdele’s father. He was not injured.
Police photos show several items in the house were stabbed before police arrived. Investigators say Denetdele used the knives to stab a television and a wall.
Video released Friday shows when officers arrived on scene, Denetdele emerged from the home with knives in his hands. Officers asked Denetdele to “drop the knife” at least eight times before shooting him. Denetdele can be seen running toward officers with two large kitchen knives in his hands, pointed up, when officers opened fire. One officer attempted to use a less-lethal round in the moments before officers fired.
Denetdele was pronounced dead at the scene. Three officers fired guns, including Arniel Sampang, Christopher Taddoni and Jacob Munoz. None of the officers have been involved in any prior shooting cases. Each of the three officers has yet to return to normal duty.
Medina spoke to officers having previous contact with Denetdele in the past. The Chief said those cases will be reviewed. It’s unclear is this is the first time Denetdele had been armed with weapons.
“It unfolded rather quickly, the officers were in the process with communicating with individuals,” Medina said. “At no point in time would I want officers immediately to charge into a house, because had our officers charged into the house immediately and ended up shooting individuals, the question that would be presented to me right now is, ‘why didn’t officers slow things down and why didn’t they call everybody out, and why did they instigate this a little bit more.”
The second shooting APD discussed happened around 1:42 a.m. on November 10, just outside APD headquarters in downtown Albuquerque at 4th and Roma. APD says officers shot and killed Jesus Crosby, 41, after Crosby is said to have lunged at officers while holding nail clippers, something officers originally thought was a knife at the time of the shooting.
During Friday’s news conference, APD described Crosby as holding the clippers with “the sharp file piece extended out” of his hand. Police’s interactions with Crosby first started outside the Prisoner Transport Center, where a non-sworn sergeant with the PTC recognized Crosby.
That sergeant was said to be familiar with Crosby from at least four prior incidents on the property. Crosby, who had been trespassed from the property, was also knowingly accused of throwing a rock at a bank building’s windows two days prior.
Police initially tried to arrest Crosby outside the PTC for trespassing. One officer, who was leaving the PTC, was first to responded to the request for help.
“As the officer tried to physically detain Mr. Crosby, he lunged toward the officer with a plastic sharp object in his left hand, and another object in his right hand,” APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock said. “The officer believed it was knife or another sharp object in both of his hands.”
After that, a second officer arrived on scene. APD says Crosby was given multiple warnings to drop the objects in his hands. While Crosby dropped one object, APD says he continued holding another. Police shot Crosby in the parking lot of the police station as video shows him “lunge” toward officers. Crosby died from the shooting.
APD says officers Alex Couch and Chance Gore fired their weapons. Both have not been previously involved in any shooting cases and have since returned to normal duty.
Commander Matt Dietzel of Albuquerque Police’s Crisis Intervention Division says officers had previously tried to get Crosby into “services,” noting Crosby’s behavioral health issues. Crosby was homeless. The department says Crosby’s case “highlights the difficulty of interacting with people who are unhoused” and have mental illness.
“The case agent for this individual tried multiple times to locate him, you saw that he tended to go to the Prisoner Transport Center,” Commander Dietzel said. “The reason why those individuals knew about Mr. Crosby is because our detectives went out multiple times to try to get him into treatment, unfortunately, every time we’d go out, he’d already left the area.”
APD says CIT detectives also tried to speak to Crosby in the past at MDC, however, he was in medical seclusion. “This required officers to talk to him through metal doors at the jail, and honestly, was not very effective.”