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APD Reveals Identity of Man Who Took His Own Life During Police Encounter on Albuquerque's Westside

By: ABQRAW staff

Posted: 02/03/2024 @ 3:40PM

© 2024 ABQRAW All Rights Reserved - Please Request Permission Before Disseminating on Other Social Media Platforms.

Albuquerque -

APD investigators have disclosed the identity of the man who died during a confrontation with the police on Thursday, February 1, 2024, at an apartment complex on Albuquerque's westside.

According to the preliminary autopsy conducted by the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) Matthias Wynkoop, 40, died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head after an encounter with police Thursday afternoon. Although two officers discharged their weapons, the autopsy did not reveal any additional bullet wounds to Wynkoop.

On Thursday afternoon, APD officers were dispatched to 4816 McMahon Blvd. N.W. in response to a suicide call. The male caller, later identified as Wynkoop, indicated he was suicidal and armed with a firearm. It created a wild scene during rush hour traffic on the Albuquerque's Westside.

According to APD, the initial investigation suggests that Wynkoop was originally sitting inside his truck talking to police armed with a rifle and a handgun. However at one point Wynkoop stepped outside his truck, and he pointed a firearm at officers. In response, two officers fired at Wynkoop, but reportedly, they missed him. Subsequently, Wynkoop then re-entered his truck, and after a brief moment, officers heard one more single shot from the direction of the vehicle. The truck accelerated forward immediately and collided with a brick retaining wall which divided the Smiths and apartment complex property. Medical personnel were summoned and determined that Wynkoop was dead as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.

A handgun and a rifle were later discovered inside Wynkoop's brown GMC truck.

Both the Albuquerque Police Department and the New Mexico State Police were familiar with Wynkoop. In the past, Wynkoop had allegedly attempted to provoke officers into shooting him in a suicide by cop scenario.

Late last year on October 25, 2023, the Albuquerque Police Department received a dispatch to 4816 McMahon Blvd NW, also the same location as Thursday's incident. The response was prompted by a report about an individual, later identified as Mathias Wynkoop, who was observed walking around the apartment complex while openly displaying a firearm and pointing it at his own head. During the call, it was mentioned that Wynkoop appeared to be under the influence of something. As a result, the caller and two other employees from the apartment complex sought safety in the complex's office. This decision was made because Wynkoop had been trying to forcibly enter the office and had also pointed the gun at the person who contacted 911.

Upon arriving at the scene during that incident, APD initiated a patrol of the parking lot to locate Wynkoop. The on-scene Sergeant promptly ordered Wynkoop to get on the ground, but he continued to ignore the command. One of the officers carried a 40-millimeter launcher, a less-lethal weapon, while other officers were equipped with rifles due to prior information about Wynkoop's possession of a firearm.

Despite ongoing non-compliance with the Sergeant's orders, Wynkoop persisted in refusing to comply. Consequently, the Sergeant directed the officer with the less-lethal weapon to deploy the 40-millimeter launcher, which struck Wynkoop in the abdomen. Wynkoop complained of being hit in his groin area. Following the use of the launcher, Wynkoop was escorted to the patrol unit. Paramedics arrived at the scene, transporting Wynkoop to UNMH hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

In this incident with APD, Wynkoop was charged with the negligent use of a deadly weapon. Wynkoop's interim conditions of release included:

1. Shall not buy, sell, consume, or possess drugs without a prescription.

2. Maintain contact with attorney and seek consultation with Attorney Maria Padilla.

3. Not to possess firearms or dangerous weapons.

4. Not to violate any federal, state, or local criminal law.

5. Not to possess or consume alcohol or enter liquor establishments.

6. Notify the court of any change of address.

7. To appear at all court settings unless a waiver of appearance is approved by the judge.

8. Not to possess or consume cannabis unless proof of valid registration is provided.

Days later, on October 28th, 2023, Wynkoop reportedly led police on a pursuit throughout the city, threatening suicide. A New Mexico State Police officer received information from NMSP dispatch indicating that Wynkoop was threatening suicide, claiming he had shot himself in the chest and he was still driving. The NMSP officer was also told that Wynkoop had been in telephone contact with an APD officer for approximately 30 minutes, and his last phone ping was traced to I-40 eastbound near milepost 208. The NMSP officer located Mr. Wynkoop at Exit 208 on Interstate 40 Eastbound.

Initially, Wynkoop fled from the NMSP officer in his truck before eventually coming to a stop. Once stopped, Wynkoop opened his truck's door, fell out of his vehicle, and lost consciousness. When Wynkoop regained consciousness, he reached for the pistol on the front left floorboard. Wynkoop also stated to the NMSP officer, "Don't make me do something stupid."

In the Affidavit in Support of a Petition for an Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order, filed on November 3, 2023, the NMSP officer stated that "Wynkoop exhibited signs of a mental illness during our interaction. He believed he was shot when he was not and believed someone was trying to hurt him." During that encounter, the NMSP officer located 15 firearms in Wynkoop's vehicle. Wynkoop also admitted to being admitted to a local area hospital for mental health issues and being prescribed medication.

On November 17, 2023, the Court granted a one year Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order.

On November 15, 2023, Wynkoop was stopped in Moriarty on suspicion of drinking and driving. He faced charges of DWI (Driving While Under the Influence of Liquor - 2nd offense), Negligent Use of a Deadly Weapon (Intoxication), and Resisting, Evading, or Obstructing an Officer (Arrest). Wynkoop pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial. The charges against Wynkoop were dismissed on January 25, 2024, as the NMSP failed to provide discovery.

Given that Wynkoop had another encounter with the NMSP on October 28th involving firearms and another encounter with the NMSP on November 15th for driving while intoxicated, it is unknown why the conditions of his release for the incident with APD on October 25th were not revisited by the courts. It is very fortunate that no civilians or police were injured on Thursday, but could that entire ordeal have been prevented.

According to APD, Detectives are now investigating how Wynkoop obtained additional firearms that were used in Thursday's incident.

To see APD's Press Conference from Thursday, you can go HERE:

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