ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department has identified the suspect accused of stealing a bait car and firing at police officers on Monday. Authorities say 26-year-old Dalton Cunningham of Santa Fe is a convicted felon who was wanted on several felony warrants for crimes in Santa Fe and Española.
APD reports that on Monday, Cunningham stole a city-owned bait car that the department had deployed in the area of Central Ave. and Louisiana Blvd. Police say a sergeant with the Auto Theft Unit watched a live stream of Cunningham inside the vehicle as he drove through the northeast heights.
As police arrived at Cunningham’s location, APD states that the sergeant spotted Cunningham holding a black, semi-automatic handgun and relayed that information to responding officers. Police say that the bait car was remotely disabled as it drove westbound on Osuna Rd. due to Cunningham’s dangerous driving.
According to APD, officers then saw Cunningham put on a face mask as he tried to turn the ignition on. He then turned around and fired multiple shots at officers who were behind the vehicle.
One shot went through an APD unit’s windshield, narrowly missing two officers. Officers returned fire through the windshield, striking Cunningham in the chin.
Authorities say Cunningham exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot through an apartment complex. Police were able to take him into custody in the parking lot located on the west side of the complex.
APD says Cunningham was treated at the hospital for the superficial wound and has been booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center. He has been charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault on a police officer, felon in possession of a firearm, and resisting and evading a police officer in addition to his warrants.
He is facing several charges for running from Española Police in June when he wouldn’t comply with a traffic stop. In court on Tuesday, the state called for Cunningham to be kept behind bars until trial.