New Mexico State Police confirm they were involved in two separate police shootings in Albuquerque, both within an hour of each other on opposite sides of town. Authorities are still searching for the suspect involved in one of those incidents.
The State Police Chief Tim Johnson says it all started when one of his officers tried to pull over a stolen car that refused to stop.
“Vehicle fled and it was somewhat of a lengthy pursuit…” the chief said.
The shooting happened near Old Coors and Central just before 7 p.m. The chief wouldn’t go into detail about what prompted the officer to fire his weapon, saying it’s too early in the investigation.
The chief says his officer fired at least one round, hitting the driver in the right shoulder. The driver, identified as Jesus Arenivar, and a female passenger were taken into custody.
Arenivar has a drug history and one prior conviction involving a stolen vehicle. Police say the woman was questioned and then released.
Just last week, the governor announced a plan to add 50 State Police officers to the Albuquerque area to help get a handle the crime problem in the metro. Just six days into officers working that “surge operation,” and NMSP officers were involved in two separate shootings.
“There’s a lot of good people in this town and just a small amount causing all the crime. APD does their best and we’re here to help them apprehend those who are causing all the problems,” Chief Johnson said.
State Police were also involved in a second shooting near Lomas and Washington about an hour after the first. Police are still searching for the suspect in the incident.
The State Police chief says the scene started near Central and Washington when an officer tried to pull someone over Tuesday night. Officers say the suspects were in a truck and took off, getting away when the officer tried to use a PIT maneuver to stop them.
The chief says the officer shot at the suspect and crashed into a civilian’s vehicle. Both the officer and the driver of the vehicle are said to be OK.
“Our officer was injured, transported with a shoulder injury, non-life threatening injuries but still hurt. That is the extent of what we have right now,” said Chief Tim Johnson.
The suspect’s truck was later found abandoned in an alley. Police also found guns and drugs. They’ve traced that truck to 40-year-old Daniel Franco. He has prior arrests for burglary, shootings, child abuse, forgery, resisting arrest, drugs and being a felon with a gun.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest.