New drone footage first released last week by the Albuquerque Police Department shows the moment on March 15 when a tactical team took down an active shooter who killed two people and injured four others, including two police officers.
In the video, the suspect, identified as John Dawson Hunter, appears to be kneeling on the sidewalk as three officers approach. Hunter then stands up and begins walking toward the police with his hands in the air, causing the officers to slowly back up.
The officers fire “three bean bag rounds” at the suspect, who grabs his stomach and quickly turns around as two more officer enter the scene. He picks something up on the ground and continues walking away while being pursued by five officers with their guns drawn.
Hunter walks to a nearby driveway and appears to reach for a gun that was on the ground, at which point the officers open fire.
“Officers approached Hunter, who they believed was surrendering. Hunter suddenly got to his feet and advanced on officers. Three bean bag rounds were deployed, but did not have the desired effect,” the department said in a statement. “Hunter walked over to two handguns on the ground, began to pick one up, at which time three officers discharged their rifles (12 rounds total). At least one projectile struck Mr. Hunter and stopped his actions.”
According to APD Community Director Gilbert Gallegos, investigators believe Hunter was “suffering some sort of mental crisis when he started shooting randomly at people in the area of his home,” KRQE reported.
APD Chief Harold Medina said the incident demonstrates the lack of mental health services in the city.
“In the end, I think it is important as a community that we stand strong and that we advocate for as many resources as we can in the mental health fields to get people the help they need,” he said, according to KRQE.
Police said two officers were injured during the incident as a result of a bullet striking a cinderblock that sent debris flying in their direction.
Medina said the one officer was struck above the eye and the other “sustained some pellets below his vest.”
“Fortunately, they are doing okay. It did not require serious medical attention,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller told reporters just after the shooting, Fox News reported. “They ran in and prevented something that could have been very, very dangerous for this entire community.”