Shoplifter shot and killed while running from police

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On Saturday afternoon, a suspect who was trying to evade arrest outside a Kohl’s store on Ellison Road NW was fatally shot by an Albuquerque Police Department (APD) officer, according to APD spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos.

As part of a strategic retail crime mitigation effort, APD officers had been monitoring the area and noticed a man and a woman emerging from the store, allegedly with stolen goods. Although the woman was arrested without issue, the man attempted to elude officers, initiating a chase across the parking lot of the shopping complex.

The scenario took a fatal turn when the man reportedly brandished a weapon during the pursuit, leading one or more APD officers to open fire. Deputy Chief Mike Smathers of the APD highlighted that officers did attempt to make contact with the suspect and negotiate surrender, but these efforts were unsuccessful. The inquiry is ongoing regarding whether or not the man fired at the officers. Smathers clarified that during the gunfire, one officer fired a live round and a 40-millimeter less lethal round was also used.

The identity of the male suspect, believed to be in his mid-30s, has not been confirmed, but Deputy Chief Smathers referred to an extensive criminal record. He suggested the incident should serve as a reminder that retail theft operations pose serious risks to law enforcement officers and the public.

Smather’s comments were echoes by Gallegos, who also refrained from identifying either suspect. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.