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APD Releases Details of Officer-Involved Shooting at 2801 Vail Ave SE

Officer Involved Shooting Vail
January 12, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department released details of a Nov. 21, 2023, officer-involved shooting of an armed man during a foot pursuit in Southeast Albuquerque

2801 Vail Ave SE

APD officers were dispatched around 11:40 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2023, to reports of a man who was waving a black handgun and pointing it at residents of the Eagle Nest Condos, located at 2800 Vail Ave., S.E.

Officers arrived at the apartment complex and located a man matching the description of the suspect on the south corner of the complex, which is near Girard Blvd. and Gibson Blvd. The man was later identified as Pablo Pacheco, 35.

Officers set up a force array with a combination of lethal and less-lethal options. As officers approached the man in the parking lot, they saw him rummaging through a black duffel bag and a blue and white backpack. He grabbed the bags and ran from officers, dropping the bags as he ran.

The suspect ran south through the lot, turned west and ran on Vail Ave into a neighborhood. Two officers chased the suspect in the street and two others ran parallel on the other side of the fence separating the street from the apartment complex.

As he fled north and west from the apartments, officers saw the suspect produce a black handgun from his pants pocket. Officer Zachary Earles was closest to Pacheco and he yelled that Pacheco had a gun. As Pacheco approached the corner of the home at 2801 Vail Ave., Officer Earles fired his rifle, striking Pacheco. He was transported to a hospital and treated for gunshot wounds. The handgun Pacheco had in his possession was recovered at the scene. No officers were injured during the shooting.

In an interview with detectives, Officer Earles said he noticed Pacheco slow from a sprint as he approached the corner of the home and he feared Pacheco was going to attempt to turn and shoot him. Earles said he saw Pacheco’s arm go back and he thought Pacheco was going to pull the gun up and shoot.

In addition to charges he faced for previous crimes, detectives are also charging Pacheco for Firearms or Destructive Devices; receipt transportation or deadly possession by a felon, and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Over the next several months, the Multi-Agency Task Force will continue to investigate and analyze this incident. Detectives will interview any new witnesses that come forward and complete any forensic tests. After the investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office to make any determination of criminal charges.

APD’s Internal Affairs Force Division will also investigate the shooting to determine whether the department’s policies were followed. The results of the administrative investigation will be forwarded to the city’s Superintendent of Police Reform to make final decisions on discipline.

APD’s Force Review Board, made up of deputy chiefs, will also review the incident to identify trends and potential policy changes that may be needed in response to any shortcomings that are identified.

SUBJECT:     Pablo Pacheco, 35

INVOLVED OFFICERS:     Officer Zachary Earles, who has been with the department since 2021, has not been involved in any officer-involved shootings.