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APD Releases Update to Officer-Involved Shooting on Tramway Blvd.

Dec. 21, 2022

The Albuquerque Police Department released an update today to the investigation of the 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. 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.