ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Max Mitnik was experiencing a mental health crisis in 2020 when his parents called 911 trying to get help taking him to a hospital for treatment. One officer arrived to a residence in the Tanoan Country Club Community in the heights. The encounter resulted in the officer shooting 26-year-old Max Mitnik.
The family is suing Albuquerque police for the handling of the incident. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2022 but the family refiled the lawsuit, and now it has gone to federal court. The suit was filed by Mitnik’s parents on behalf of their son.
Max Mitnik’s father called 911 on June 4, 2020 and requested help from the Crisis Intervention Officials to transport the 26-year-old to the University of New Mexico hospital. The suit states Mitnik wanted to go to the hospital but didn’t want his parents to take him because he was afraid he was going to get violent and hurt his parents.
Two Albuquerque Police Department officers agreed to transport Mitnik to the hospital, then attempted to put him in handcuffs which caused Mitnik to protest. He went back into the house, grabbed a knife and locked himself in the bathroom.
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His mother was able to open the bathroom door and that’s when Matnik began walking toward Officer Jose Ruiz holding the knife. The officer then shot him in the head and the hip.
The lawsuit states Mitnik sustained a traumatic brain injury and is permanently disabled as a result of the gunshot wound to his head. He now has limited use of his left arm, requires assistance to walk, and depends on his parents for care.
An internal investigation officer says Jose Ruiz used appropriate force in the shooting of Max Mitnik. The report states that Ruiz escalated the situation by letting Mitknik’s mother open the door. Ruiz received eight hours suspension.