BREAKING: Suspect Who Shot 4 APD Officers Found Dead While in Federal Custody
Updated: Feb 21, 2022
By: ABQRAW staff
Posted 2/18/2022 5:00P
Updated 2/19/2022 3:00PM
Updated 2/21/2022 12:00PM
Suspect James Ramirez, 28, Los Angles, California died February 15th, 2022
Cibola County, NM -
We have learned from inside sources that the suspect who was involved in an August 20th, 2021 shooting has died at a Cibola County jail facility. James Ramirez, 28, of Los Angles, California, was accused of shooting 4 Albuquerque Police Officers that left them wounded in a shoot out in NE Albuquerque.
Milan Police were dispatched to the Cibola County Correctional Facility on February 15th, 2022 in regards to a death at the facility. It was confirmed that Ramirez died inside the facility. We have confirmed he was picked up by the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator (OMI) on February 15th, 2022 from Cibola County and transported to Albuquerque.
The Cibola County Correctional Facility is located in Milan, New Mexico and they are a privately run prison. It is run by CoreCivic, which touts itself as partners with the U.S. Marshals Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide safe environments where detainees can reside temporarily as they go through their legal due process.
Ramirez had robbed a teenager prior to the shootout, Albuquerque Police officers Mario Verbeck, and James Eichel found Ramirez nearby and were immediately fired upon and seriously wounded. Ramirez then engaged APD officers Harry Gunderson, and Sgt. Sean Kenny in the parking lot of the Dutch Bros Coffee.
Sgt. Kenny and Officer Gunderson got into a shoot out within the busy Dutch Brothers parking lot. Below is the video from the shoot out.
video footage of shootout link here
Ramirez had been in the custody of the federal prison system after federal charges were filed stemming from the shootout. After we learned that Ramirez may be deceased, we reached out to the Bureau of Prison's to see if Ramirez was actually still in federal custody and received this from them via e-mail:
James Ramirez, Register Number 63570-509, is not currently in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).There are several reasons why an inmate may be referenced as "not in BOP custody" when using the "Find an Inmate" feature on our public website. Inmates who were previously in BOP custody and who have not completed their sentence may be outside BOP custody for a period of time for court hearings, medical treatment or for other reasons. We do not provide specific information on the status of inmates who are not in the custody of the BOP for safety, security, or privacy reasons. You may continue to utilize the "Find an Inmate" feature on our public website https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ for any future updates on individuals of interest to you, as this page will update periodically with any status changes.
We reached out to Ramirez's attorney at the Federal Public Defenders office, and he declined to comment. When we reached to the U.S. Marshal's office, they were unable to confirm nor deny the status of Ramirez.
CoreCivic's PIO Matthew Davio sent us the following statement when asked for information:
"At approximately 4:55 pm (MST) on Tuesday, February 15, James Ramirez, a U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) inmate was found unresponsive at the Cibola County Correctional Center, in Milan, NM. Staff immediately called a medical emergency. Facility medical staff responded to assist Mr. Ramirez and began administering emergency first aid and life-saving procedures. EMS responded to the facility, but Mr. Ramirez passed away prior to being transported. He was pronounced deceased at approximately 5:40 pm MST".
"CoreCivic staff immediately notified our partners with the USMS. Since the manner of death is unknown at this time, an autopsy has been requested".
Public Affairs Manager
This is a still developing story and we will update the story as more information becomes available.
Editors note: This article has been amended to add the CoreCivic PIO's statement