Albuquerque police gun down man in shootout

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Just hours after hundreds took to the streets to protest Albuquerque police fatally shooting a homeless camper, a man who opened fire on police was shot dead by officers, authorities said.

The suspect was shot late Tuesday outside a public housing complex following a 911 call about a man pointing a gun at a juvenile, Albuquerque Chief Gorden Eden told reporters.

He said the man "exited an apartment with a firearm and fired a firearm," before officers returned fire.

The suspect, who has not been named, died Wednesday morning at a hospital, said Albuquerque police spokesman Tasia Martinez.

Eden did not answer questions from reporters after giving a statement about the shooting.

Albuquerque police are facing heavy criticism for 36 other police shootings since 2010, including the fatal shooting of a homeless man earlier this month in the Sandia foothills.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King announced Wednesday his office has launched an investigation into both of the fatal shootings this month to provide "an objective unbiased external assessment."

In the foothills shooting, authorities said James Boyd, 38, died after officers fired stun guns, bean bags and six live rounds on March 16. Police said Boyd had threatened to kill officers and held onto knives as an unarmed K-9 officer approached him.

But a helmet camera video showed Boyd gathering his belongings then turning away right before officers fired. The shooting followed a long standoff during which Boyd claimed he was a federal government agent.

A protest Tuesday evening in downtown Albuquerque drew a crowd from around the city and Santa Fe. Some chanted "We want justice," while others held signs that read "APD is guilty" as they marched for a few blocks to police headquarters. The demonstrators filled the streets, blocking traffic as they went.

Albuquerque police are under a U.S. Justice Department investigation involving the use of force and Mayor Richard Berry asked Justice Department officials to add the Boyd shooting to its ongoing probe.

In addition, Berry has asked the Las Cruces Police Department to join a five-agency investigation into the shooting.

Justice Department officials also are scheduled Wednesday to meet privately with community activists to discuss Boyd's shooting.

King said his office was "willing to collaborate with the federal authorities in any review they conduct."

The family of the man in the latest shooting said they are planning a candle light vigil Wednesday night at site of the shooting.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

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