Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include new information APD subsequently released on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, including the identity of the suspect and victim who were killed in the shooting. APD has since determined that three officers were hurt in the shooting. APD now believes the officers were injured by debris from a cinderblock wall that was struck with gunfire during the shooting.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police say a suspect is among two people killed in a Monday afternoon shooting that left five others injured, including three Albuquerque Police officers. APD says the injured officers are expected to be OK.
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The shooting unfolded around 2:30 p.m. Monday on Montgomery Boulevard east of Tramway. APD alerted the public to the shooting initially, warning of a possible active shooter near Larchmont and Montgomery.
At a news conference Monday, APD Chief Harold Medina said in total, six people were hurt in the incident, two of whom were killed. They include a male suspect and a female victim who were killed; two male APD officers and two other civilians — one man and one woman — who all sustained non-life threating injuries.
In a news release Tuesday, APD clarified information about the number of police officers injured in the case. APD now believes three police officers were injured by flying debris from a cinderblock wall that broke up during the shooting. Those officers are not believed to have been hit with bullets.
APD says officers continued searching the neighborhood after the shooting unfolded out of an abundance of caution. A police presence is expected to continue in the neighborhood for some time, but APD says there is “no further threat to the community” related to the incident.
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina says officers initially responded to a 911 call of a man with a gunshot wound. That man was transported to the hospital but is expected to be OK.
As officers got to the scene, making contact with the gunshot victim, Medina says officers heard gunshots east of their location near Montgomery. Moving further east on Montgomery toward the sound of the gunfire, Medina says officers found a second victim with a gunshot wound. That victim managed to drive themselves to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Further up Montgomery toward Larchmont Street, Medina says officers found a woman who had been shot and killed. On Wednesday, that woman was identified at 31-year old Alicia Hall. As officers tended to the victim, Medina says police made contact with the suspect, 52-year old John Dawson Hunter.
“It’s still way too early for us to know what occurred [between the officers and the suspect,]” Medina said. “We know there was some kind of interaction, we don’t know how it turned into an officer involved shooting.”
APD says two officers fired their guns, killing the suspect, Hunter. APD says the suspect was shot in the street, near a house along a side street off Montgomery. Chief Harold Medina couldn’t confirm Monday if the the suspect lived in the home, but officers say the suspect had entered the house and came back out when the shooting occurred.
Shortly after the incident Monday, APD initially said two officers were hit with shotgun pellets. Tuesday, the department said it now believes debris from a cinderblock wall injured three officers. One officer was grazed above his eye while the other is said to have been hit below the bulletproof vest. All injuries to police are said to be non-life threatening.
When asked what lead up to the shooting Monday, APD Chief Harold Medina said it was too early to know. Preliminarily, Medina said “road rage” has not come up as a possible factor. Tuesday, APD said they believed Hunter was suffering some sort of mental crisis when he started shooting randomly at people in the area of his home.
“We don’t know if the victims knew [the suspect,] some of it seems like it could be random, we don’t know that,” Medina said Monday, shortly after the incident. “We don’t have that answer [on if this was random] and we’ll have to wait until investigators are able to piece together who the victims are and what relationship they may have to this offender.”
The afternoon had started peacefully for Laura Charles as she went for her daily walk near Montgomery and Tramway, but it turned terrifying in just seconds. She and her husband were among some of the early 911 calls.
“At about 2:30 today, my husband and I went for a walk and stepped out from our front door, got just across the street and one house over towards the north and heard gunshots and my husband said, ‘run,'” said Charles, who lives in the neighborhood. “About 30 minutes later, we heard more gunfire and a short time after that we heard a boom which I guess was a flash bang of some sort.”
Another neighbor — who wished to remain anonymous, caught on camera the moment the suspect was first shot at with bean bags by officers, before he was shot and killed — just out of sight. One also found their own car damaged by stray bullets exchanged during the whole ordeal. One witness tells KRQE she and her husband saw another incident just a few blocks away as someone in a silver SUV started shooting at cars.
“We hear pop, pop, pop and we couldn’t figure out what it was,” said the woman. “We don’t expect to hear gunshots.”
She says luckily their car wasn’t hit.
“I have no idea why we were okay but I’m glad we were. I was just terrified,” said the woman. “The whole feel of the city is different. We talk about that all the time with the amount of crime.”
Charles agrees, calling the entire day traumatizing. “It hits close to home and this is our neighborhood. We have a wonderful neighborhood. Glenwood Hills is a special, special place and I’m sad for the people who were shot.”
Police say they did find two handguns at the scene where the suspect, Hunter, was killed.