Witness says man shot by officer was running away

October 31, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An alleged carjacker shot and wounded by police this week was running away when the officer fired multiple shots at him, according to a witness.

That account differs from a criminal complaint filed in the Monday shooting of 34-year-old Joaquin Ortega, the Albuquerque Journal reports Thursday (

The newspaper also reports the shooting was the third by the [auth] officer, Brian Pitzer, in six and a half years with the department.

The shooting comes as the department is under investigation by the Justice Department for an escalation of police shootings and several high-profile cases of abuse. Since 2010, more than two dozen people have been shot by Albuquerque police, 19 fatally.

In the latest shooting, the victim of the intended carjacking Jim Sutton, told the Journal that Pitzer shot at Ortega seven times as he was running away. He said that Ortega threw away his gun after the first two shots, and that he did not see Ortega fire his gun.

A criminal complaint filed in court against the wounded man says witnesses told police that the man threatened the officer with a handgun and was shot as he turned back toward the officer.

APD spokeswoman Tasia Martinez declined to comment, citing the investigation still underway.

Police have said Pitzer fired an undisclosed number of times at Ortega, 34, after he robbed a woman and her 7-year-old grandson of $15 at gunpoint and then tried to take Sutton’s truck.

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One Response to Witness says man shot by officer was running away

  1. MaryElena says:

    The Officer shot “7 times” at the criminal who had just robbed a grandma +little kid and the guy is still breathing? Man you need to work on your aim! What kind of “Man” robbs a grandma and little kid? You give criminals a bad name.

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