Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the current status of Shannon Lee Michael Candelario, a suspect in the April 12 shooting. Candelario survived the shooting. He was booked in MDC on May 20.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police released new details, photos and videos Friday two recent officer shooting cases in March and April. One shooting happened following a murder at an Albuquerque hotel, while the other shooting happened during a stolen car investigation at motel in the southeast part of the city.
The first case discussed surrounded a suspect named Shannon Lee Michael Candelario. The 46-year-old Algodones man was shot by officers in the parking lot of Albuquerque Motel 6 as officers converged on Candelario, attempting to arrest him. That shooting happened last month, on April 12 around 9:45 p.m.
A Deputy Commander overseeing APD’s Criminal Investigations Unit, Kyle Hartsock said Friday officers first began tracking Candelario after spotting a stolen car near Central and Pennslyvania NE. When officers tried to pull the car over, APD says the car drove off. Unbeknownst to the driver, APD attached a GPS device to the car, which let officers track the vehicle remotely.
APD says that car first dropped off a male passenger who officers interviewed. That passenger told officers the driver was Shannon Candelario.
Surveilling officers then caught up with the car and driver, Candelario, in the parking lot of a Motel 6 along Central, just west of Tramway. That’s right across from the 4 Hills Village shopping complex. APD says officers watched Candelario exit the stolen car, then enter the Motel 6 lobby.
“Detectives and officers came into the parking lot and while making the plan to arrest the subject if he walked back out, observed the driver exit the motel and start to walk towards the stolen car,” Hartsock said. “An officer observed the subject put his hand in his pocket and pull out an unknown object in response from police [telling him] to surrender.”
As multiple officers moved toward Candelario, video shows him continue to walk away from officers, saying “shoot me!” followed by “**** you.” An officer shot Candelario as he opened the driver’s door to the stolen car.
APD says Candelario did not have a gun or any weapons in his possession. Police determined after the shooting, Candelario was holding a key fob when shot. According to APD, the officer who shot Candelario stated he thought Candelario had pulled a black handgun out of his pocket, which ended up being the key fob.
Candelario was wounded, but survived the shooting. Police say he was booked into MDC on Friday, May 20 on an outstanding warrant. So far, APD says he hasn’t been charged in the shooting.
Commenting on the Candelario shooting Friday, Harold Medina spoke to the fact that the shooting marks the second in 2022 where an suspect was shot, but was not found to be armed with a gun. When asked by a reporter why he thought that was, Chief Media said there are a variety of potential reasons for the situation.
“We gotta remember that officers make quick decisions,” Medina said, in part. “As these two cases go forward (an internal investigation and a criminal investigation determining if the officers actions were legal and authorized) on the administrative side, I’m hoping that something comes about, or some kind of recommendation comes about as to how we deal with this situations,” Medina said, we referring again to the minimal reaction time officers have.
Two officers fired during the Motel 6 incident, including Damian Lujan who has been involved in three prior shootings. A second officer involved, Jerry Arnold, hasn’t been involved in any prior shootings.
Ambassador Inn murder, police shooting
APD also released new video in the March 29 police shooting involving a murder suspect, Donovan Bookout, 44. Bookout is accused of killing a 38-year old security guard, Daniel Mora, at the Ambassador Inn shortly before police arrived.
According to APD, officers were patrolling nearby at Candelaria and I-40 when they were alerted to a possible shooting inside the building. Police say surveillance video shows Bookout shot the security guard, Mora, as he made was making his rounds through the hotel hallways. Mora died from his injuries.
APD says as officers arrived on scene, they observed Bookout carjacking a man for their truck at gunpoint, near the hotel. APD says as officers tried to stop the truck, Bookout drove the truck from the hotel, hitting a police unit.
Police say Donovan Bookout drove the truck west to Broadway, along back east on Candelaria before coming to a stop near the hotel. Eventually, Bookout drove the truck to a nearby parking lot, when officers say he exited the car with a gun and began shooting at responding officers.
Two APD officers returned fired. No one was struck by any gunfire during the incident, according to APD. Bookout eventually surrenders to police and was arrested.
Speaking of the Bookout incident Friday, Chief Harold Medina cited issues with mental illness, calling the initial shooting that killed Mora a “random incident,” as far as the department knows so far.
“That homicide really brings to light some of what we’re seeing,” Chief Medina said in reference to increasing homicide rates in Albuquerque. “I still think we need to invest in our mental health system … we have a homicide with an individual who has a history of mental health, and I think we need to work as a community, we need to figure out how are we going to deal with these individuals.
Medina said Bookout had “numerous contacts” with law enforcement in the past, and that firearms were “recovered” from Bookout in prior incident, prior to the murder at Ambassador Inn. Mora, Medina says, lost his life because “the system isn’t set up” for police to deal with individuals like Bookout.
“It’s not just, ‘we’re going to erase it,’ and you get a free pass,” Medina said. “There has to be some kind of mandated programs that individuals are put into where they’re monitored and we’re assuring the community that they’re safe.”
APD officer Justin Collins fired his weapon during the incident, along with Sgt. Andrew Herpolsheimer. Neither officer has been involved in any prior shootings.