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APD releases details of recent officer-involved shooting on Tramway Blvd

Friday, Dec. 2, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE – The Albuquerque Police Department released details today of an officer-involved shooting that followed a vehicle crash on Tramway Blvd.



Date of Incident: Nov. 5, 2022

Location: 1900 Tramway Blvd., N.E.


Officers in the Foothills Area Command responded at 2:20 a.m. to a report from a caller of a single-vehicle crash in the center median of Tramway Blvd., just south of Menaul Blvd., N.E.


When officers arrived, they saw the driver and a front-seat passenger inside the vehicle, which had damage from crashing into signs along southbound Tramway Blvd.


During a later interview with detectives, the passenger said he and the driver, identified as Julian Sanchez, had been drinking alcohol for several hours prior to the crash. He said they purchased alcohol at about 8 p.m. and drank at a home before driving to Sandia Casino to gamble. He said they were heavily intoxicated and they argued at the casino about driving home because they were both intoxicated.


The told detectives that Sanchez drove from the casino at some point and headed east on Tramway from Sandia Casino. The passenger recalled the vehicle hitting what he thought was a jersey barrier at one point. At 2:30 a.m., the vehicle passed Menaul Blvd heading south and crashed into some road signs. The car came to a rest in the median.


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. 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.


An interview was later conducted with Officer Steward who stated he heard his partner officer yell the driver had a gun, and then observed the gun for himself.  As he gave verbal commands to drop the weapon, he stated he believed that Sanchez fired the gun and started to point it at him, so he fired. 


A gun was recovered inside the vehicle.


Subject: Julian Sanchez, 21


Involved Officer: Nicholas Steward, who has been with the department since 2020, has not been involved in prior officer-involved shootings.


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.