Video out of New Mexico shows that New Mexico State Police involved in an hours-long standoff mistakenly used lethal and less-lethal ammunition during a fatal shooting.
Roberto Armijo, who was killed on 17 November, had led police on a chase after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop.
After crashing his vehicle in Northeast Albuquerque, Armijo engaged in a standoff with the New Mexico State Police Crisis Negotiations Team and a tactical unit.
Exiting the vehicle with a machete and a makeshift shield, Armijo was shot with “beanbag” munitions from shotguns. However, within the same three-second span, lawmen armed with carbines also shot at Armijo, mortally wounding him.
Police Chief Tim Johnson said, “Tactical officers first attempted to use less lethal bean bag rounds on the subject. We’re still investigating this – whether this was successful or not – but I would assume it wasn’t because a short time later two of our officers fired their duty rifles, hitting the suspect, who is now deceased.”
The beanbag rounds were fired by Officer Kyle King, while Sgt. Armando Reyes-Llamas and Officer Dominique Meadows shot Armijo with their carbines.
The New Mexico State Police will be investigating the matter, according to the Albuquerque Journal, but will not be determining what happens to Reyes-Llamas or Meadows.
“The New Mexico State Police and (Multi Agency Task Force) act solely as factfinders in their cases and do not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters,” NMSP spokesman Ray Wilson wrote in an email. “That decision rests with the district attorney’s office.”
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