Sus­pect kills self after po­lice chase

Albuquerque Journal - - METRO & NM - BY MATTHEW REISEN AND PI­LAR MARTINEZ JOUR­NAL STAFF WRIT­ERS

A sus­pected car thief died Satur­day morn­ing when po­lice say he shot him­self after of­fi­cers chased him into a north­east Al­bu­querque apart­ment com­plex fol­low­ing a crosstown pur­suit.

Al­bu­querque po­lice spokesman Si­mon Dro­bik said the case is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated as an “in cus­tody death” and it is un­clear if the man shot him­self on pur­pose. The man had not been iden­ti­fied by po­lice. “The in­di­vid­ual shot him­self in the process of flee­ing,” he said.

Dro­bik said the in­ci­dent started when po­lice found a stolen ve­hi­cle at Spain and Wy­oming around 11 a.m.

He said when they tried to stop the ve­hi­cle, the sus­pect sped off and nearly rammed an APD sergeant. Of­fi­cers fol­lowed the sus­pect us­ing Star­chase, a track­ing de­vice that sticks to a flee­ing ve­hi­cle, to help avoid a pur­suit.

Dro­bik said po­lice tracked the sus­pect un­til he slammed into a parked truck near Edith and Lo­mas NE and ran to­ward a nearby apart­ment com­plex.

He said that, as of­fi­cers gave chase, the sus­pect pulled out a gun and “a shot was heard” be­fore he crawled through an apart­ment win­dow and started “scream­ing for help.”

Po­lice found him in the apart­ment with a gun­shot wound. He was pro­nounced dead at the hospi­tal.

A neigh­bor at the com­plex, Ruben Mon­toya, said he was get­ting ready to leave when he heard a crash.

“Shortly after, I heard the gun­shot,” he said. “That’s when all hell broke loose.”

Mon­toya opened his front door after the man ran by, and of­fi­cers asked him, “Where’d he go? Where’d he go?”

“Lucky I didn’t run into him com­ing out when it hap­pened,” he said. “It freaked me out.”

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