Neighbors describe ‘scary’ SWAT standoff in NE Albuquerque


Thursday night, a suspect search affected a large area of northeast Albuquerque, and Friday neighbors are talking about the scary scene leading up to the arrest.

Neighbors say Thursday night’s standoff was the most intense situation they’ve ever seen in the area. 

“Everybody was a little bit freaked out about it,” said John Martens, who was in the Walmart parking lot at the time of the shooting.

A typically quiet neighborhood turned into a SWAT scene.

“It shocked me to no end,” said Paul Barnum, who lives near the home where Charles Purvis was arrested. 

Some people stuck in their homes, while others couldn’t get to their homes for hours.

“Everybody was just standing around, sitting around on the sidewalk with no plan,” said Ray, who lives nearby. “They wanted to go home from work, they’re tired, but the officers said no, you can’t.”

“They were on their speakers asking everyone in the residence, in this neighborhood, to stay inside their houses because there was an emergency situation going on,” said neighbor R. C. Chavez.

Residents along Makin Street in northeast Albuquerque were shocked when over 60 officers surrounded their street looking for Charles Purvis after he barricaded himself inside a home.

“It is scary because you don’t know what they’re going to do,” said neighbor Cecilia Reyes. “Desperate people do desperate things.”

“Everybody was just yelling and screaming, waiting over there when we heard the shots and everything,” Ray said.

Hiding inside to avoid any trouble, neighbors say once it got dark, they heard officers calling for Purvis to surrender.

“I heard the woman officer telling him to put his hands up for safety, come out with your hands up to ensure your safety and she said it several times,” Reyes said.

“That went on for maybe an hour or so, and then all of a sudden I heard a bunch of shots fired,” Chavez said.

Albuquerque Police say those weren’t shots people heard, but shock booms to get the suspect to surrender.

Charles Purvis is expected to face a judge Saturday. He had two active warrants for battery and shoplifting. He now faces charges for shooting at the officers and aggravated assault.

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