Warning: Video may be difficult to watch
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New video shows the moments before a Las Cruces Police Officer shot and killed a 75-year-old woman said to be armed with knives in her home.
What started as a crisis at a Las Cruces home quickly takes a devastating turn for the family of 75-year-old Amelia Baca. It started with a 911 call from Baca’s daughter in April, saying her mother suffered from dementia and was threatening the family with a knife.
Some family members, including a 5-year-old girl, jumped out a window to escape. When the officer arrives, he ushers two other women out including Baca’s granddaughter. She urges the officer to take it easy on her grandmother.
However, in a blink of an eye, tensions skyrocket. The officer repeatedly commands Baca, who the family says did not speak English, to drop the knives she is holding in each hand. Meanwhile, Baca’s family members plead with officers not to hurt her.
Baca eventually transfers the knife from her left hand, so both knives are in her right. She seems to be stepping back but then takes a step forward. Then less than a minute after the officer walked up to the house shots are fired.
Baca’s granddaughter says her grandmother did not need to die this way.
Albitar Inoh: I didn’t push him I didn’t touch him. I was standing next to him….asking him don’t shoot her, she’s mentally ill…letting him know like she’s not a danger… letting him know she’s mentally ill. You guys should have training on how to deal with mentally ill people.
The shooting is being investigated by the Dona Ana County officer-involved incident task force. KRQE News 13 reached out to Las Cruces Police Department to ask why a crisis intervention team wasn’t dispatched or why the officer didn’t use a taser instead of a gun. KRQE has not heard back.