ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Las Cruces Police Department tried to lay out what led to a dramatic chase and shooting, a scene that was captured on cell phone video Wednesday night.
Las Cruces police chief, Miguel Dominguez, says the suspects in the chase video had just threatened people at a Lowe’s after trying to steal an air conditioner. They showed the surveillance of that Thursday.
“One male appeared to, pulled out what appears to be a handgun from his waistband, pointing it towards the employees and a witness standing nearby,” says Dominguez.
What happened in the minutes after that was captured by a driver on his cell phone. The two men took off in a Chevy Tahoe. Police chased them through neighborhoods down to Telshor and Sundown — until they crashed into a pole.
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The video appears to show police shooting 25-year-old Joshua Lopez as he gets out of the SUV and runs. Lopez was shot once and survived. His passenger, 25-year-old Myles Luciano was uninjured. “Pedestrians, people on bikes, this incident was extremely dangerous and volatile and lasted for quite some time,” says Dominguez.
Police say Luciano told them it was a BB gun. The chief emphasized the shooting is under investigation. He said three officers, who haven’t been named, are on standard paid leave.
Luciano is charged with three counts of aggravated assault for threatening Lowe’s workers and customers with a gun. Both he and Lopez are charged with shoplifting for the air conditioner.