ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department released new details including video and photos of the August 19 shooting on Juan Tabo that left four officers injured and one suspect in custody. Video shows how a minutes-long gun fight took place across an alleyway and a parking lot, where at least 135 gunshots were fired between the suspect and police.
The department also revealed Friday a second suspect in the case has not been arrested or positively identified in the case. The department is seeking information about the suspect, who was pictured wearing a black hoodie in convenience store surveillance video.
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Much of the shooting happen in both a nearby alleyway and a parking lot of a Dutch Bros. Coffee stand on Juan Tabo at the intersection of Mountain. One of the suspects, 27-year-old James Ramirez of California, is accused of shooting at officers as they attempted to stop him for a robbery investigation.
The event started to unfolded around 8:40 a.m. when APD first received a 911 call from a victim. The victim said he was robbed at gunpoint around 8 a.m. near Central and Western Skies in southeast Albuquerque. APD says after the robbery and before calling police, the victim then met with a friend to help drive around the area, looking for the suspects. The suspects were later spotted near Juan Tabo and Copper, where the victim then made a 911 call to report the robbery.
When officers arrived to meet the victim, officers Mario Verbeck and James Eichel spotted the suspects walk by on nearby Summer Ave, into an alleyway. The suspects then ran south through the alleyway, where officers chased them. The gunfight first unfolded in the alleyway, as APD says Ramirez ambushed officers.
“The offenders ran south through the narrow alley that included a partially covered elevation drop,” APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock said during Friday’s briefing. “This allowed Ramirez, the shooter, to be in an advantageous position to fire upon our approaching officers with little warning.”
Officers Verbeck and Eichel were shot in the alleyway. Body camera video shows blood pouring out of a wound in Eichel’s left forearm. His body camera video shows Albuquerque Police Service Aide Jaqueline Hernandez-Zarate helped put a tourniquet on Eichel’s arm.
Officer Verbeck was shot at the base of the neck. APD did not show video from Verbeck’s perspective. He was helped to safety by a neighbor, who heard the shooting.
APD says Ramirez eventually emerged from the alleyway and into the parking lot of the Dutch Bros. Coffee shop, which was full of people in their cars. APD officers Sean Kenny and Harry Gunderson caught up with Ramirez in the parking lot where the gunfight continued. In the parking lot, Sergeant Sean Kenny was shot in his bulletproof vest. Officer Harry Gunderson was hit with metal shrapnel in the eye.
Ramirez received at least one gunshot wound from an APD officer’s gunfire. He was arrested in the parking lot. Police say Ramirez had six total ammo magazines, including four with an extended capacity. One of those extended clips had at least 31 live rounds inside of it. APD says it collected 70 shell casings from the suspect’s gun, and 65 shell casings from officers’ guns.
Eichel was released from the hospital a week after the shooting but has not returned to work. Verbeck was released from the hospital about two weeks after the shooting but has not returned to work. Both Kenny and Gunderson have recovered from injuries and are back working for APD.
The suspect, Ramirez is now facing a federal felon in possession of a firearm charge. Recently filed court documents indicated Ramirez was heavily armed when the shooting took place.