New Details are released about a Deadly Officer Involved Shooting on Tramway in November
By: ABQRAW staff
Posted: 12/21/2022 @ 2:30PM
Detectives and CSI's can be seen looking over evidence on the scene of an officer involved shooting in November
Communications Director Gilbert Gallegos released a statement today stating new information about an Officer involved shooting last month. In the email he wrote:
"ALBUQUERQUE – Today The Albuquerque Police Department released an update today to the investigation of their Nov. 5, 2022, officer-involved shooting that followed a vehicle crash on Tramway Blvd. N.E.
Investigators discovered evidence that suggests the driver of the vehicle, Julian Sanchez, fired his handgun during the incident. After further investigation, it was discovered that one of the gunshot wounds suffered by Sanchez entered and exited his leg from top to bottom in a trajectory of right to left, indicating the projectile was fired by Sanchez’s own gun. Sanchez was also struck by gunshots to his left side of his body as he sat in the driver’s seat, indicating those bullets were fired by the officer who stood outside the vehicle."
The officer who shot Sanchez told detectives he believed he saw a muzzle flash from the firearm that was being handled by Sanchez inside the vehicle. Officer Nicholas Steward fired several shots in response, striking and killing Sanchez.
APD leaders provided preliminary details of the investigation into the shooting during a news conference on Dec. 2, 2022. While Officer Steward said he believed Sanchez fired his gun, detectives did not find evidence the gun was discharged at the time. Following that news conference, the criminal investigation and a separate, administrative investigation continued.
“While we want to be transparent with the public about these shooting investigations, we are providing preliminary details, not final conclusions,” APD Chief Harold Medina said. “Our detectives continue to thoroughly investigate these shootings long after we brief the public. We can’t jump to conclusions until these investigations are complete.”
The investigations are ongoing. Detectives will continue to examine all evidence, including the possibility that Sanchez fired his handgun.
"If you have a firearm in your car and decide to start drinking, simply unload the firearm and put it in the trunk and leave it there," said Chief Harold Medina during the press conference.
Two officers responded to the scene and found the crashed out vehicle with heavy front end damage. When officers approached the vehicle they found two subjects inside the vehicle. Both occupants appeared to be heavily intoxicated adult males. The officers tried to get the individuals out of the car and according to the body camera footage it sounded like they were slurring their words and were incoherent.
According to APD, Officer Steward and another officer responded to the car crash on the 1900 block of Tramway NE. When they arrived they observed a vehicle in the median facing southbound. One officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle and spoke to a male individual in the front passenger seat. The passenger stated he was okay and the officer had him exit the vehicle.
Officer Steward began to approach the driver side of the vehicle to check on the male driver. As Officer Steward approached the driver side of the vehicle, the other officer yelled out that the driver had a gun. Both officers gave verbal orders for the driver to drop the gun. Officer Steward fired his handgun and struck Sanchez several times. Sanchez died inside the vehicle.
A Multi-Agency Task Force will forward its case to the District Attorney’s Office to make any determination of criminal charges and an APD internal affairs investigation will determine if any discipline will be necessary for the officers involved.