ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department released new information in two deadly police shooting cases at a news conference Friday morning. In both case, APD says mental crisis is thought to have played a role in what happened.
One of the shootings discussed Friday took place on March 14, 2022 at 13136 Montgomery Blvd NE. That’s where police fatally shot John Dawson Hunter, 52, who was actively shooting at random people out of the window of his home. Dawson is said to have killed a 31-year old woman, Alicia Hall. Two other people were wounded by gunfire that came from his home.
After a confrontation with police, officers shot and killed Dawson in the driveway of his home. Video shows Dawson, who was initially shot with a bean bag rifle, was walking back toward a handgun he’d previously placed on the ground when officers shot him.
APD Chief Harold Medina called the shooting, “disturbing.” “We have just, 100% true victims, this is a nightmare for people who were involved in this,” Medina said.
The department also released information about another fatal shooting that happened on March 19, 2022 at 13400 Wenonah Ave SE near Central and Tramway. In that shooting, officers killed 33-year old Collin Neztsosie. During Friday’s news conference, APD described Neztsosie as an individual who was “in crisis.”
“I think we can connect the dots that this individual used the Albuquerque Police Department to commit suicide,” Chief Medina said. “26 minutes [the dispatcher] was on the phone trying to de-escalate and calm this individual down, and tried to get this individual to comply so that this would have a different outcome and a different ending.”
APD provided 911 calls, indicating that a witness initially told a 911 dispatcher several times that Neztsosie said he had a loaded gun. The caller also initially reported that Neztsosie assaulted him, “several times,” alleging he had been kicked, chocked and punched by Neztsosie. As the call progressed, the caller said several times it looked like Neztsosie had a gun.
The suspect, Neztsosie, eventually called 911 dispatchers, stating he would “shoot and kill anyone that approaches him,” according to APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock. That call is said to have last over 20 minutes before responding officers eventually shot Neztsosie.
Throughout clips of the 911 call between dispatchers and Neztsosie, the dispatcher can be heard telling Neztsosie, in part, to “put the gun on the ground,” and “listen to officers.” At certain parts in the same call, Neztsosie said, “I got my nine [mm pistol] with me and I’m gonna shoot.”
In the last interaction between Neztsosie and the dispatcher, the dispatcher said, “Collin, listen to the officers.” Neztsosie responded, “Nope, nah, I mean, negative.” Officers shot Neztsosie as he was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.
“The object in Collin’s hand was likely a black cell phone,” Hartsock said of Neztsosie Friday. “No firearm was recovered on his person or nearby the scene.”