Surveillance video of a 2017 shooting is now at the core of a federal lawsuit against the Albuquerque Police Department.
Anthony Kapinski, 26, is suing the city of Albuquerque and an APD detective, claiming the detective ignored video evidence showing that Kapinski shot and killed two men in self-defense.
Kapinski claims he never should have been charged with murder. He sat in jail for nearly a year before a jury acquitted him.
The shooting happened on a late Friday night, on June 2, 2017 in the parking lot of the New Beginnings Church in Albuquerque, at the corner of Montgomery and Carlisle.
That night, the church’s parking lot was packed with gear heads and car lovers.
Surveillance video shows the panic that broke out after Paul Francia and Jordan Mucher were shot to death. Mucher’s mother spoke publicly about her son’s death in the day after the incident.
“I need help getting justice for my son, because this guy needs to go to prison,” said Mucher’s mother, Jeanine Iverson. “I don’t want somebody else’s life to be taken by this guy.”
According to the criminal complaint, Mucher and Francia confronted Kapinski about car parts they claimed Kapinski stole, then attacked Kapinski as he stood by his car door.
According to the new federal lawsuit, Kapinski claims he had no way to escape the attack and acted in self-defense by pulling out a gun and killing both men. The day after the shooting, Kapinski turned himself in.
While Kapinski admitted to shooting Francia and Mucher, Albuquerque Police charged Kapinski with two counts of murder.
“This case will go to district court and they will have a hearing to determine whether you will be held with no bond prior to your trial,” a judge said, in June 2017.
According to the federal lawsuit, prosecutors never mentioned that police had video that showed what led up to the shooting.
The Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office convinced a judge to keep him behind bars until trial, arguing that witnesses saw him pull the trigger and that he had a long criminal history.
Kapinski was ordered to stay in MDC on a no-bond hold.
Kapinski sat in jail for 11 months before he was acquitted in April. He’s now suing the city and APD Detective Terra Juarez, claiming she arrested him “without probable cause” by ignoring the surveillance video she watched before arresting Kapinski on double murder charges.
Kapinski also wants the city and APD to pay damages for making him sit in jail for months.
Albuquerque Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos didn’t respond to KRQE News 13’s request for comment on the lawsuit.
An attorney for Kapinski, Andrew Indahl provided the following statement:
“Unfortunately, much of the media coverage of this incident was inaccurate and unfair to Mr. Kapinski. As the complaint alleges, Mr. Kapinski was outnumbered and attacked after he had already withdrawn and had no way left to escape. All of it was captured on surveillance camera and seen by the Albuquerque police before any arrest was made. As Americans, our civil rights are among our most precious possessions. Mr. Kapinski and I are working day and night to make this right.”
–Andrew Indahl, Attorney for Anthony Kapinski