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APD releases details of officer-involved shooting of stabbing suspect

July 19, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department released details of an officer-involved shooting of a stabbing suspect on June 29, 2023 in the area of 905 Louisiana Blvd., N.E.

McDonald’s at Lomas and San Pedro NE

Officers responded to a stabbing reported at 9:23 p.m. at the McDonald’s located at 925 San Pedro Dr., N.E.

A McDonald’s surveillance camera showed the dark colored sedan pull up at 9:21 p.m. behind another vehicle at the drive-thru entrance. A man quickly exited the car from the passenger side door. He was dressed in black pants, black shirt with a pink or peach-colored backpack and white shoes. He sprinted away from the car and through the parking lot.

The victim of the stabbing, an adult man, was stabbed in the neck and the chin, and critically wounded. During a later interview with investigators, the victim said he picked up the man, later identified as Jeramiah Salyards, near a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. The victim said he was trying to help the man out with a ride and offered to get him food, which he said he has done in the past for another homeless individual in the area. The victim told detectives the man appeared to be high on drugs and acted strangely as he drove him to McDonald’s to get him something to eat. When they entered the drive-through, the man blurted, “sorry,” and stabbed him before exiting the vehicle and running away. Officers responded within minutes and rendered aid to the victim. He was transported to a local hospital to treat his wounds. He has since been released from the hospital.

Lomas Blvd and Louisiana Blvd NE

About 2 ½ hours later, at 11:51 p.m., officers were alerted that a man matching the description of the stabbing suspect was seen near the intersection of Lomas Blvd. and Louisiana Blvd., N.E., which is less than 1 mile from the scene of the stabbing. The man was described as having a pink or peach backpack and holding a knife.

Officers who were still at the scene of the stabbing responded to the report of the possible suspect. Officers met on Lomas just south of the Burger King, located at 7101 Lomas Blvd., N.E. They noticed the peach-colored backpack on the sidewalk nearby and spotted the man in black clothing in the median on Louisiana Blvd., just to the north of the intersection.

Some officers started walking toward the man, which they determined to be the stabbing suspect, while others approached in their police cars and turned on their emergency lights. Officers who were on foot identified themselves as police officers as the man, later identified as Salyards, made his way across southbound lanes of traffic. Officers yelled at Salyards to drop the knife that was in his right hand or he would be shot.

Salyards slowed as he reached a group of three people who were at or near a bench at a bus top on the west sidewalk of Louisiana. As officers continued to yell for Salyards to stop and drop the knife, one of the three bystanders ran away to the south. The other two bystanders started to move in the same direction while Salyards appeared to confront them with the knife. At 11:56 p.m. Salyards started to run with the knife raised toward a bystander in a light blue jacket. After taking about two steps and closing distance, four officers fired their handguns toward Salyards. Salyards’ momentum carried him into the bystander who froze and then dropped to the ground. Salyards spun around and went to the ground a few feet in front of the bystander.

After the initial round of gunshots, officers yelled at Salyards to drop the knife he appeared to be still holding in his right hand as he lay on the ground turned on his right side. The bystander in the blue jacked appeared to be injured and tried to use his hands to push himself away from the injured Salyards. After about 35 seconds, Salyards suddenly rose to his knees with the knife in his hand and turned his body toward the bystander. Officers fired two more rounds, striking Salyards.

Salyards, a 25-year-old from Roswell, was identified days later following an autopsy by the Office of the Medical Examiner. Salyards died as a result of several gunshot wounds.

Two bystanders were also struck by gunfire from police. One bystander was shot in the leg. He was treated and released that night from the hospital. The bystander in the blue jacket was shot several times and suffered serious injuries. He was treated over several weeks at the hospital and is receiving additional care.

During a later interview with detectives, the bystander said did not recall anyone approach him when he saw the bright lights of police vehicles and he heard police officers yelling to drop the knife. He said he was confused because he did not have a knife and he did not know why officers were telling him to drop a knife. He said he was struck several times by the gunfire while he was down on the ground. He did not recall seeing Salyards.

Salyards was a convicted felon who was released from prison within the past year after serving a three-year sentence for the violent stabbing in 2020 of a City of Albuquerque bus driver. During that 2020 incident, the bus driver pulled into the West Side Transit Center and noticed Salyards using a knife on the lock of the transit center’s bathroom. When the driver told Salyards he needed to leave, Salyards attacked him with the knife, stabbing him several times. Salyards was arrested and later convicted for the stabbing.

Over the next several months, APD will continue to investigate and analyze this incident. Detectives will continue interviewing any new witnesses that come forward and complete any forensic tests. After the investigation is complete, APD’s Force Review Board will forward the findings to the Superintendent of Police Reform to determine if this incident met the high standards of the Albuquerque Police Department. The Multi-Agency Task Force will forward its case to the District Attorney’s Office to make any determination of criminal charges.

SUBJECT:     Jeramiah Salyards, 25


Officer Brenda Johnson, who has been with the department since 2018, has not been involved in any officer-involved shootings.

Officer Eric Wilensky, who has been with the department since 2014, has not been involved in any officer-involved shootings.

Officer Violeta Baca, who has been with the department since 2019, has not been involved in any officer-involved shootings.        

Officer Christian Cordova, who has been with the department since 2015, has been involved in one prior officer-involved shooting.