Judge releases man at center of deputy-involved shooting

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A man at the center of last weekend’s deputy-involved shooting on the west side is back on the streets.

A judge released him Saturday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Robert Apodaca said he wasn’t trying to hurt a Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy, but that he would rather die than return to jail.

“They just shot him” one of Apodaca’s family members said the night of the shooting. “I don’t understand why.”

It all began when deputy Kathryn Harris pulled over a red minivan with no plates at the Smith’s near Coors and Central.

The complaint said an unidentified woman inside the car asked to talk to Harris. The woman told the deputy she had a warrant out for her arrest. Harris then detained her.

The deputy called in for backup. She then discovered a passenger, Apodaca, also had a warrant out for his arrest.

“There is one person that will be going to jail for felony warrant,” BCSO Undersheriff Larry Koren said the night of the shooting.

Online court records show Apodaca had multiple warrants out for charges ranging from aggravated fleeing of an officer to not having a driver’s license or proof of insurance.

When deputies confronted him, they said he tried to flee. However, Harris blocked him.

That’s when both deputies on scene said they saw Apodaca draw a pocket knife. Right after opening it, Harris said she believed her life was in danger. She shot him twice.

“The primary deputy ended up perceiving a threat of some sort,” Koren said the night of the shooting.

Apodaca was charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Saturday morning, a judge ruled Apodaca will walk free for now because of his minimal failure to appear history.

BCSO would not identify the other two people in the car and said they will give an update in the case Monday.

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